On 9 May the Philippines elected Rodrigo Duterte President of Southeast Asia’s oldest democracy. While official results are still to be declared, Duterte has won around 39 percent of the votes and the other candidates have already congratulated him on his victory. To describe Duterte as controversial would be an understatement. His campaign logo was a fist and he enjoys the nicknames of “The Punisher” and “Trump of the Philippines”.
Why did Duterte win and what does the new President stand for? With a population of over 100 million, the Philippines has often struggled to achieve political stability and economic growth. But in the past decade it recorded over 6% growth per year and was among the fastest in Asia’s developing countries. Given this economic success, many observers thought that the administration’s candidate, the widely-experienced Mar Roxas would win.
By Fraser Cameron, Director
As the United States reduces its engagement in the Middle East, a process that could accelerate dramatically with Donald Trump in the White House, both the EU and China have been increasing their engagement.
Japan’s prime minister Abe visited Brussels and other European capitals last week to prepare for the G7 summit in Japan at the end of the month. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, thanked Abe for placing the migration and refugee crisis at the top of the G7 agenda.
On 19 April, the EU-Asia Centre held a panel discussion on the topic of "How to Deal with North Korea?"
EU-ASIA Centre is a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.