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Xi Opens Shanghai Import Expo

6 November 2018

On Monday, President Xi Jinping opened China’s first ever import-oriented expo in Shanghai. The President, under strong pressure from Trump on trade, never mentioned the US president by name but sent a strong message claiming that China was a defender of free trade and opposed to protectionism. He said that China would continue opening up and be an attractive market for foreign investors. China would not close its door but would not be pressed to act against its own interests. 

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EU, China have much to chew over

By Fraser Cameron

17 October 2018

Premier Li Keqiang heads to Brussels this week for the biannual Asia Europe meeting (ASEM) plus bilateral talks with European Union leaders. Li's visit takes place amid rising protectionism and increasing trade tensions.

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Landmark China-Japan Summit

30 October 2018

Last week’s visit to China by Japanese Prime Minister Abe has opened a new chapter in relations between the two strongest powers in Asia. For several years relations remained cool because of disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and Abe’s visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. 

When Beijing hosted APEC in November 2014, Xi and Abe shared an awkward handshake. In May 2018, Premier Li Keqiang visited Japan for the China–Japan–ROK trilateral summit as well as a bilateral visit with Abe. Now, as both countries are threatened by Trump’s tariff policies, they are seeking to rebuild ties.



EU-Korea Relations

On 7 November, together with the Korea chair at the VUB, the EU-Asia centre held a panel discussion on the EU-Korea relationship. The focus of the event was a new publication by the Korea chair ‘EU-ROK relations: Putting the Strategic Partnership to Work.’

Introducing the panel, Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, said that insufficient attention was paid to Korea, and India and Japan, the EU’s other strategic partners in Asia. The establishment of the Korea chair at the VUB was thus very much to be welcomed. Today’s event marked the publication of a new report on how to deepen the partnership. It was also timely given the recent summit during ASEM and the growing uncertainty about developments in East Asia.


We are a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.

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