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Mogherini visits China and India as Asia reacts to Trump

Federica Mogherini visits China and India this week as Asian leaders still struggle to come to terms with the Trump phenomenon. The EU foreign policy chief will be concentrating on measures to improve EU-China and EU-India relations but her interlocutors, and others in the region, will be focused more on Trump’s tweets, especially as tension is mounting between the US and North Korea.

Based on her own good ties to senior officials in Washington, Mogherini should be able to reassure Asian leaders that Trump’s rhetoric is one thing – his actual policy another. In the past week Trump has flip-flopped on major foreign policy issues including the relevance of NATO and how to handle China. It is no longer a currency manipulator but a valued partner in helping to tackle the DPRK nuclear issue.

Before and after his inauguration, President Trump had numerous phone calls and meetings with leaders and business people from the Asia Pacific region. During the campaign he worried many Asian leaders with his threats to leave TPP, raise tariffs on Chinese exports and make Japan and South Korea be responsible for their own defence. He also called into question the long-standing ‘One China’ policy by making an early phone call to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Business has also been rattled given the high uncertainty surrounding possible Trump policies in the trade and financial fields. More recently there are signs of a more moderate approach.

/// OP-ED
korea

The presidential election in South Korea

By Mascha Peters

On 10 March the constitutional court of South Korea upheld a parliamentary motion to impeach president Park Geun-hye, clearing the way for a snap presidential election on 9 May. A clear majority of South Koreans view the first-ever impeachment of a South Korean president as a chance for a fresh start after months of protests, which drew up to one million citizens onto the streets. With at least 61 members of the ruling New Frontier Party (NFP) voting in favour of Park’s impeachment, hopes are now high for a democratic boost for the country. The scale of civic protest is comparable only to the one which triggered the downfall of the last authoritarian regime 30 years ago.

/// LATEST NEWS
trump

How Trump can win the Nobel Peace Prize

Sir, You report (April 3) that President Donald Trump “is prepared to tackle North Korea alone” but it should be painfully clear to everyone that there is no military solution to the problem of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons. There is no certainty that the US knows the whereabouts of all North Korea’s launch sites, and any attack would lead to a devastating retaliatory strike on Seoul — a metropolis of 10m just 60km from South Korea’s border with the North.

/// UPCOMING EVENTS
eu-china

Event Invitation May 3rd:Public Diplomacy – the Chinese and EU Approaches

The EU-Asia Centre with the Confucius Institute of the VUB, and the Brussels Academy for China and European Studies, invite you to a panel discussion on ‘Public Diplomacy – the Chinese and EU Approaches’ on 3 May.
China’s increasing importance on the global stage coincides with its efforts to improve its public diplomacy based on political (G20 summit), economic (OBOR), cultural (Confucius Institutes) and sporting (Olympic Games) inputs. It is keen to expand its soft power using the media (CGTN, China Daily, Xinhua, etc) as well as ancient Chinese statecraft. The EU has always struggled to achieve an effective communications strategy, perhaps because of the many voices at the table and perhaps because of inadequate resources.  Now both actors are keen to improve their public diplomacy with both Wang Yi and Federica Mogherini giving the subject top priority. But how are both sides approaching public diplomacy? How does each define the concept? What can each side learn from each other as well as best practices elsewhere? To discuss these and other questions you are invited to a panel discussion  from 1700-1830  on 3 May in the Press Club, 95 Rue Froissart, 1040 Brussels.

/// ABOUT EU-ASIA CENTRE

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

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