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Liu and Vassiliou

CHINA-EU HPPD

18 April 2012

Following an agreement at the last EU-China Summit in Feburary the first EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue Forum took place at the Centre Flagey on 18 April. There were three panels covering culture, education and youth followed by a plenary. 

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EU-China Prospects

EU-China Prospects

23 March 2012

Ambassador Wu Heilong  said that the EU-China relationship was one of the most important relationships in the world. Some people had described the last summit in February as the most successful ever. It was important to maintain the momentum.

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Myanmar- what's new and what should the EU do?

Myanmar - what's new and what should the EU do?

15 March 2012

Opening the discussion, Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, referred to his own visit to Myanmar two years ago when the feeling was one of stagnation. Now there was a palpable feeling of excitement with the move towards a democratic state and the hope for an end to ethnic conflicts. He quoted from a recent speech by Ambassador Thant Kyaw who said that Myanmar ‘is opening a new and challenging chapter in her history.’

Harn Yawnghwe, Executive Director, Euro-Burma office, said it had been strange returning to Burma after 48 years in exile. It was always unrealistic to expect the military to hand over power completely. Nevertheless the changes were real. The peace talks with the ethnic minorities were crucial for stability. There were major economic reforms underway. Aung San Suu Kyi was actively campaigning for a by-election seat. There were some who suggested that if her party did not win all 48 seats the elections would not be free and fair. But this would be a false analysis. Many people were unaware of the NLD which had different factions. The government party was quite popular in some areas.

Sai Sam Kham, Executive Director, Metta Development Foundation, said that there was now space for civil society to work, e.g. on land issues, humanitarian aid. The conditions at regional and local level still varied, often depending on the attitude of local army commanders. There was little capacity in the NGO sector and this needed to be addressed.

An EU official from the EEAS agreed that changes were real. He noted that the government was even talking to the EU about sensitive issues of political prisoners, migrant workers and border disputes. The reintegration of exiles was another positive step. Sanctions had run their course and the EU needed to move towards a policy of engagement with Myanmar. Trade and investment would be crucial.

In the discussion there was much debate about the effectiveness of EU and other sanctions. Harn said that sanctions had not worked. Indeed it had driven Myanmar into the arms of China. Some NGO representatives took a different view and suggested the EU should main a policy of strict conditionality.

One diplomat considered that Myanmar could learn much from the transformation that had taken place in Poland. Another pointed to the potential for Myanmar to gain international influence and respectability by taking over as chair of ASEAN in 2014. Myanmar could even become a model for other Asian countries. 

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Chinese Renaissance in Europe

The Chinese Renaissance in Europe

9 March 2012

Part of ‘the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue’ initiative, a conference on  ‘The Chinese Renaissance in Europe’ took place on 9 March at the British Academy, London. Leading scholars, policy analysts and journalists discussed the historical, political, economic and culture/digital media aspects of China’s presence and influence in Europe.

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EU-Japan Roundtable on East Asian Security

EU-Japan Roundtable on East Asian Security

16 February 2012

Together with FRIDE and the Japanese Mission to the EU, the EU-Asia Centre organised on 16 February an expert roundtable on ‘East Asia Security – Views of Japan and the EU’ .

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EU-China year of intercultural dialogue

EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue

1 February 2012

The EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue opened in Brussels 1 February 2012.

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Seminar on EU-China Relations

Seminar on EU-China Relations

1 January 2012

The EU Asia Centre organized a seminar on EU-China relations at the Mission of China to the EU on 13 December 2011.

Welcoming the participants, Ambassador Song Zhe said that the EU-China relationship was not a matter of strategic choice, but of strategic necessity. China and the EU had many interests in common not least in dealing with the current international economic situation. As China continues to reform and open up to expand domestic demand, it provides the largest market potential for all major economies around the world. EU exports to China have risen 20% this year. China attaches great emphasis to the introduction, absorption and integration of advanced technologies, management skills, and high-quality assets from Europe. Greater efforts will be made to expand cooperation with Europe on urbanization, green economy, science and technology, education, and public service.

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Eu-Asia Centre

Meeting on EU-Asia at Lowy Institute, Sydney

21 December 2011

EU-Asia Centre and Lowy Institute seminar on EU-Asia relations, Sydney, Australia

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Eu-Asia Centre



roundtable Human and Minority Rights in China

Roundtable on Human and Minority Rights in China

30 November 2011

Chen Shiqiu, Vice President of the China Society for Human Rights Studies and Hao Shiyuan, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Academy (CASS) of Social Sciences and former Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology at CASS were the principal speakers at a roundtable on human and minority rights organised by the EU Asia Centre and the Madariaga Foundation on 30 November.

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