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EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

Britain’s departure from the EU is undoubtedly a blow to the bloc’s foreign and security policy ambitions. Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, has called for Europe to play a more “geopolitical role” but this will be more difficult with the loss of a nuclear power and one of the two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. It could potentially lead to competition between the 440 million EU and the 60 million UK in terms of seeking Asia’s attention. But Brexit will not derail the EU’s plans to deepen ties with Asia this year. An array of summits is planned with Asian partners as both sides seek to preserve a rules-based international system under threat from U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Aung San Suu Kyi and Xi Jinping in Naypyitawm, Myanmar, on 18 Jan 2020

Myanmar – back on track with BRI?

By Antti Tulonen

On 18 January 2020, BRI projects in Myanmar appeared to be back on track as Xi Jinping and Aung San Suu Kyi announced their countries renewed commitment to cooperate. Myanmar had been among the countries wary over the infamous debt trap narrative. Has China heeded to the criticism about BRI?

EU-Vietnam FTA

EU-Vietnam FTA approved by EP

On 11 February the European Parliament approved the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements by large majorities which will allow the FTA to enter into force later this year. Following the FTA with Singapore, the deal with Vietnam will eliminate virtually all tariffs on goods and provides guarantees on sustainable development, labour rights, environmental protection and the Paris climate accords.

Briefing on Coronavirus with Chinese Ambassador to the EU

Briefing on Coronavirus with Chinese Ambassador to the EU

The EU-Asia Centre hosted a briefing on the coronavirus and EU-China relations with H.E. Zhang Ming (Chinese Ambassador to the EU) on 18 February. The ambassador outlined his presentation by asking four questions.