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handshake of xi and abe

APEC and beyond

As host of the this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting China made a huge effort not only on the diplomatic and hospitality fronts, but in transferring a normally smoggy Beijing to a blue-sky Beijing. This effort to allow some sunshine onto the proceedings may have helped produce one of the main bilateral outcomes – namely the US-China agreement on reducing carbon remissions.

The biggest question on everyone’s lips before the summit was whether President Xi and Prime Minister Abe would shake hands. As is evident from the photo above, the icebreaking handshake between the two most powerful Asian leaders was ice-cold too. 

/// OP-ED

Why the Election Mr Abe?

By Fraser Cameron, Director

Few Japanese understand why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election for 14 December when he still had a clear majority in the Lower House and two years before he had to go to the polls. The reason given, that he wanted a fresh mandate for his economic policies, seems strange and unconvincing to most Japanese.

4th Plenum

Decision of the Fourth Plenum: The Party and then the Law

The text of “Decision on Several Important Issues Regarding the All-Around Promotion of Ruling the State According to Law,” passed by the Fourth Plenum on 23 October (the text is available in .pdf below) contemplates some positive legal reforms, although hardly fundamental, since institutionally speaking, the Party remains above the law. 

pak flag

Pakistan: regional powerhouse or dysfunctional troublemaker?

As leaders of South Asian countries gather in Kathmandu for the latest SAARC summit,attention will focus once more on the tensions between the two giants of the regional grouping, Pakistan and India. What role does - and should - Pakistan have within the region as a new government in India settles into office and a new president takes office in an Afghanistan now largely devoid of foreign combat troops?


EU-ASIA Centre is a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.

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