In their first trilateral meeting for three years, South Korea's Yun Byung-se welcomed Fumio Kishida from Japan and Wang Yi from China to Seoul on 21 March to discuss ways to ease tensions in the region. The ministers agreed to organise a ‘trilateral summit’ for their leaders ‘at the earliest convenient time’.
Following the meeting, Mr Yun said the ministers had agreed ‘to strengthen trilateral co-operation’ in the spirit of looking squarely at history and moving forward to the future’. Reiterating China's position, Mr Wang said: ‘The war has been over for 70 years, but the problem with history remains a present issue, not an issue of the past’.
By Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Lee Kuan Yew’s mark on Singapore’s foreign policy is that of applying counter intuitive strategies to improve the island state’s international standing. In retrospect, this has ensured Singapore’s long term viability as a sovereign nation-state.
Several EU member states have rushed to meet the 31 March deadline for countries wishing to apply to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as founding members. In a move publicly criticised by the US, the UK was the first big member state to announce that it would join the Chinese-led bank. The British move has been followed by Germany, France, Italy and Luxembourg with others considering joining before the end of the month.
A panel debate on 18 March organized by the EU-Asia Centre considered opportunities to increase cooperation between Korea, China and Japan, and obstacles to deepening and formalising such cooperation.
EU-ASIA Centre is a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.