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11th China-EU Think Tank Roundtable. China and EU: Achievements, Experiences and Challenges

2 October 2015

This year\'s annual EU-China Think Tank Roundtable took place on 20-23 September. It was hosted by the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) and the Centre for South China Sea Studies at Nanjing University. Building on the longstanding cooperation, participants of the 11th roundtable could freely exchange views on current and structural issues of EU-China relations. The conference started with a dinner involving senior University officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There were four working sessions on day two and the third day was devoted to a morning session on the South China Sea and an afternoon excursion to venues of Nanjing history, such as the excellent museum for the Nanjing massacre. A summary of the roundtable debate is presented below.

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Afghanistan post NATO

Afghanistan post-NATO: viable independent state or playground for competing powers?

4 July 2015

Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre, said that the EU and NATO had invested hugely in Afghanistan over the past decade. But as the international community winds down its presence there were several questions over the future of the country and the role of regional actors. Would the upcoming parliamentary elections lead to greater cohesion? Would there be continued insurgency by the Taliban?

Nick Williams, Head of the Afghanistan Team, International Staff, NATO,   said that the idea of a post NATO era is a bit premature. Although Afghanistan not the top priority, NATO will continue to support Afghanistan through non-combat programmes like Resolute Support (with 12,000 troops) in order to promote the sustainability of the Afghan forces up to and beyond 2017. The country was making slow but steady progress.  Regional actors would seek to promote their own interests but none had an interest in de-stabilising the country. The narcotics problem as huge but other bodies than NATO were taking the lead in eradication. It was disappointing that NATO-Russia cooperation on Afghanistan had ended but that was due to other issues (Crimea).

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Summary report of EU-China Roundtable, 30 June 2015-Drivers and patterns of migration

2 July 2015

Opening remarks  Elmar Brok, chair of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, said it was interesting to compare migration patterns between Europe and China. Despite the obvious differences, China and Europe have many similarities with regard to migration. Europe, and increasingly China, both receive an increasing number of migrants from all over the world. The Mediterranean crisis was due to the quasi failed states in many parts of Africa and the Middle East. The lives of an estimated 50 million people are impacted by conflict which then forces people to turn to illegal migration.  The EU and China had a shared interest in tackling the root causes, often corruption, absence of human rights and poor governance. There is a need to create a better way for legal migration though we must not forget about the issue of ‘brain drain’. The rise of mega cities in China, mainly caused by internal migration, was creating new and unexpected problems such as the lack of social cohesion.  The European Parliament was following the debates on migration closely and he looked forward to the results of the roundtable.


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Event report: Prospects for EU-China Relations

29 June 2015

26, June, Brussles.

Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre, said that it was an opportune moment to discuss EU-China relations as it was on the eve of the 29 June summit. Relations had developed enormously since 1975 and now it was important to assess and agree priorities in order to move on to a new stage of EU-China cooperation.

YANG Yanyi, China’s ambassador to the EU, agreed that the relationship had developed very well and had transcended different political and social systems. Ever since Chinese primer Zhou Enlai had met EU Commissioner Christopher Soames in 1975, China and EU have maintained a win-win record of cooperation. The 40 year relationship has developed under peace, reform, growth and civilization based on new levels of interdependence. The volume of today’s bilateral trade (one $billion a day) is 250 times that of 1975. The EU has been China’s largest trading partner for ten consecutive years, and China is also the EU’s second largest trading partner. There are 90 flights a day between Europe and China carrying over 16,000 passengers. 


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Afghanistan post NATO

Invitation on 2 July Event - Afghanistan post-NATO: viable independent state or playground for competing powers?

27 June 2015

The EU and NATO have invested hugely in Afghanistan over the past decade. But as the international community winds down its presence what are the future political, security and economic prospects for the country? Will the upcoming parliamentary elections lead to greater cohesion? Will there be continued insurgency by the Taliban? What role for regional actors and the West? How to improve the Afghan economy? How long will international donors provide assistance? Could Afghanistan benefit from the Silk Road Economic Belt?

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Prospects for EU-Japan relations

19 June 2015

On 2 June the EU-Asia Centre held a panel discussion to discuss the outcome of the  23rd EU-Japan summit on 29 May and prospects for EU-Japan relations. Opening the event, Fraser Cameron said that there was a general feeling that during the past decade EU-Japan relations had not fulfilled expectations. Now, as both sides were in the midst of the negotiations for an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a strategic partnership agreement, there were renewed hopes for a deeper partnership. 

Jiro Okuyama, Deputy Chief of the Mission of Japan to the EU , set the scene by stating that countries in Asia need to adapt to a significantly changed strategic environment. Japan\'s answer is presented in its first ever published national security strategy, adopted in 2013, and the recent \"Legislation for Peace and Security\". In this context, Japan was honoured to be the first of the EU’s strategic partners with which it held a summit.

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Invitation:Prospects for EU-China Relations -11:00-12:30,26 June

17 June 2015

The EU-China summit on 29 June will celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. The summit follows the first visit of Federica Mogherini to China last month for wide-ranging talks on political and security issues.It is thus timely to review what has been achieved over the past four decades, to assess the current state of the relationship and prospects for the future.

The EU-Asia Centre and BICCS invite you to a unique panel discussion with two of the key actors in the relationship: the Chinese ambassador to the EU, YANG Yanyi, and the EU ambassador to China Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut. Both ambassadors will offer their perspectives on EU-China relations, including the summit preparations. Professor Gustaaf Geererts, Director of BICCS, will offer concluding remarks.

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Policy Briefing-The EU and the U.S. in Asia Cooperation or competition?

4 June 2015

Hans Binnendijk


Senior Fellow, SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University 

Lisa Buzenas, Political Officer responsible for Asia, U.S. Mission to the EU


Michael Reiterer, Principal Advisor for Asia, European External Action Service


Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre


Rosa Balfour, Senior Advisor, European Policy Centre (Moderator)


Monday 22 June 2015, 15.30 -17.30


EPC Auditorium, Rue du Trône 14-16 (3rd floor), 1000 Brussels

The European Policy Centre, in cooperation with the United States Mission to the EU, and the EU-Asia Centre, is delighted to invite you to this Policy Dialogue.

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INVITATION : EU-Japan relations after the Summit

28 May 2015

The EU-Asia Centre invites you to a panel discussion on ‘EU-Japan relations after the Summit’ at the Press Club, 95 Rue Froissart, from 1700-1830 on 2 June.

The EU-Japan summit on 29 May, hosted by Prime Minister Abe, will see a full complement of EU leaders (Tusk, Juncker, Mogherini and Malmstrom) attending. 

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Chinese ODI

Trends in Chinese ODI in Europe: A New Stage?

20 May 2015

The EU-Asia Centre and the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BICCS) hosted a panel discussion on ‘Trends in Chinese ODI in Europe: A New Stage?’

Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre said that as China’s economy has grown, so too has its stock of ODI. According to some figures its outward investment now exceeds its inward investment. But how is this trend affecting Europe? How should the EU react to the surge in Chinese ODI?

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