By Fraser Cameron
22 June 2016
The EU’s mixed strategy towards SE Asia, supporting the association of south-east Asian nations (ASEAN) while pursuing bilateral agreements, is showing results. The EU has proposed an ambitious menu of support for the ten-member ASEAN and its new ASEAN Economic Community, and offered to develop its relations into a strategic partnership.
By Mikko Huotari
20 June 2016
Germany has built a more cooperative relationship with China than most Western nations. But even Angela Merkel’s influence in Beijing only goes so far, as her recent trip has shown. In light of Beijing's more aggressive foreign policy, Germany is well advised to coordinate its China policy.
By Fraser Cameron, Director
25 May 2016
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. Some experts consider that there could even be scope for cooperation as the EU and China share a number of interests.
By Susanna Mocker
11 May 2016
Since the onset of the financial crisis, the price of raising human rights issues with Asian partners has increased for Europe. The promotion of human rights and democracy are supposedly at the heart of EU foreign policy. In article 21(2) Lisbon Treaty the Union committed itself to “consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principle of international law” in “all fields of international relations”. While the article also outlines other goals, democracy and human rights rank highest after securing the EU’s fundamental interests. Since 2009 these fundamental interests are increasingly equated with much needed economic growth, which the EU partly seeks in the world’s most dynamic economic region: Asia.
By Bonnie S. Glaser
25 April 2016
On May 20, Tsai Ing-wen from the Democratic People’s Progressive Party (DPP) will be inaugurated president in Taiwan. A key concern of the United States is whether relations between Taiwan and China will remain stable or see a resurgence of tensions. During the presidential campaign, Tsai pledged that she would “maintain the status quo” in crossStrait relations. Beijing’s precondition for preserving the status quo is that she accept the “core” of the 1992 Consensus, which is that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. Although Tsai has taken steps to provide reassurances to Beijing, she has not yet satisfied Chinese demands.
By Andrea Frontini and Susanna Mocker
8 April 2016
After a four-year suspension, the 13th EU-India Summit took place in Brussels on 30 March 2016. While several deep-rooted constraints could not be overcome, the Summit’s deliverables reflect a gradually changing and cautiously optimistic mood in the historically challenging interaction between Brussels and Delhi.
By Susanna Mocker
24 March 2016
Indonesia has been described as "the most important country we know least about." With the upcoming Brussels visit of President Joko Widodo ("Jokowi") in April, it is timely to address this shortcoming. In the 15 months of his presidency the way Indonesia relates to the world has changed markedly in several areas.
By Yang Razali Kassim
7 March 2016
Malaysia's rambunctious politics has entered an even more unpredictable phase with political foes Mahathir Mohamad and jailed Anwar Ibrahim joining hands to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak and push for systemic change. Where will all this lead?
By Fraser Cameron, Director
4 February 2016
Visiting Thailand last month I was struck by the superficial calm in Bangkok as well as other cities. Most people go about their daily business without army or police interference. Tourists still come in their thousands to enjoy the many delights of the country. But although there are few visible signs of unrest many Thais wonder when they are going to have an elected government again. There is growing dissatisfaction with the military even among its initial supporters.
By Lena Muxfeldt, Matthias Götz
16 December 2015
In recent decades, it has become a mantra that the EU-Japan relations are full of significant untapped potential. Now, with the negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA; officially: Economic Partnership Agreement) underway, there is momentum to believe that this untapped trade potential will finally be unfolded like a delicate origami.