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The Historic Kim-Moon Summit

The third inter-Korean summit, the first in over ten years, took place on 27 April 2018 at the Peace House in Panmunjom. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, met with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-In in what was the first encounter of two Korean heads of state on South Korean territory. The historic meeting has been described as a success by all the main players, including Trump. Both sides committed themselves to the establishment of a solid peace regime on the peninsula and complete denuclearization.

The “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula” which was released at the end of the summit, starts out with the promise “before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun”. Ending the armistice agreement of 1953 by signing a peace treaty, a step which will require the support of the United States and China as signatories of the armistice, would be a crucial step towards normalization of relations not just between the two Koreas but also between Pyongyang and Washington. The regime in the North has stated repeatedly that a security guarantee would make the possession of nuclear weapons dispensable, lastly during Kim’s visit to Beijing at the end of March.

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eu hr asia

EU fighting a lone battle for human rights in Asia

By Fraser Cameron

The European Union has a long tradition of promoting democracy and human rights in Asia, often in informal cooperation with the United States. Until 2014, it seemed that things were moving in the right direction, but since then there has been backsliding in China and several Southeast Asian countries. Xi Jinping has tightened control in China, the military endures in Thailand, Duterte’s drug purge is ongoing in the Philippines, the Tatmadaw commits ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, Hun Sen and his party have dissolved the opposition in Cambodia, and so on. 


Mahathir Wins in Malaysia

Against all odds, Mahathir Mohamad, the 92 year old chairman of the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), was elected as the new Prime Minister on 9 May to succeed Najib Razak. This put an end to 61 years of Barisan National-led governments. Najib could neither shake his alleged involvement in a major corruption scandal nor deal with charges about the rising cost of living., Despite the robust economic growth during his term in office, he failed to see off the challenge from his former mentor Mahathir.

Blue China

Event Report - Blue China - Can the EU and China save our Oceans?

On 12 April, the EU-Asia Centre organised a panel discussion on EU-China cooperation on oceans management. In his introductory remarks, Fraser Cameron, Director of EU-Asia Centre, highlighted the thriving cooperation between EU and China in this field, as the topic is gaining momentum in Brussels as well as in Chinese policymaking circles. 


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

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