October 2, 2019

Asia Rising

ZUMAPRESS.com/Scanpix

The importance of Asia in the global arena is growing. It would be a mistake to think that this does not concern Estonia. The September issue of Diplomaatia is dedicated to developments in this geographically distant but technologically near continent.

Marko Mihkelson, a member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), writes about the expanding influence of China. Frank Jüris, a junior research fellow at the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, comments on the subject.

Viljar Lubi, Estonian ambassador to India from 2013 to 2016, discusses India’s importance. “Estonia has attracted its first Indian investments. Some 200 Indians study at Estonian universities,” he says. “The number of Indian tourists is also growing and was just under 20,000 last year. A substantial number of our e-residents originate from India and they have established over 400 companies in Estonia.”

Ene Selart, a junior research fellow in communication and information studies at the University of Tartu (UT), explores Japan’s painful historical heritage. “Lee Chung Min, professor of international relations at Yonsei University in South Korea, has called on Japanese leaders to be bold and permanently renounce the hold-overs of World War II, since this would not only win the hearts of all Asian nations but also allow Japan to become an important partner and leader in Asian economic, policy and defence issues,” says Selart.

Observer Erki Loigom looks at North Korea. “In addition to what is considered the world’s largest army in relation to its population, North Korea’s arsenal includes dozens of nuclear warheads,” he says. “It has exploded a hydrogen bomb and even the best analytics can’t keep track of the number and nature of its missile tests.”

Claudia Valge, an MA student at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and Maari Hinsberg, an MA student at Leiden University, write about a recent South Korean phenomenon: K-Pop. “K-Pop’s uniqueness lies in its skill in combining traditional elements specific to Korean culture with Western-oriented pop music,” they write. “In the past, heritage was expressed through language, but recent years have seen familiar folkloric details displayed in melodies, choreography and the visual elements of music videos, such as costumes.”

Filed under: Paper issue