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China-US-EU

Outbreak to impact EU-US-China ties

18 March 2020

The novel coronavirus outbreak will have a major impact on relations between the European Union, China and the United States, the world's three biggest economic actors responsible for more than 50 percent of global wealth.

Some US politicians have sought to blame China and the EU for failing to tackle the outbreak, thereby showing zero understanding of the need for global cooperation to combat the worst pandemic in decades. Trust in US leadership is certain to take a further tumble after the US administration's erratic handling of the crisis.

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Democracy Trends in Asia

Democratic Trends in Asia

27 February 2020

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EUI) has just published its annual review of worldwide democratic trends. It states that ‘Asian democracies had a tumultuous year in 2019’ with Thailand marking the biggest jump in the rankings and moving from a ‘hybrid regime’ to a ‘flawed democracy.

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EU-Vietnam FTA

EU-Vietnam FTA approved by EP

13 February 2020

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.

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EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

4 February 2020

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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Leaders at ASEM Meeting in Madrid

Successful ASEM in Madrid

17 December 2019

The ASEM foreign ministers meeting in Madrid was a useful opportunity to cement European and Asian support for multilateralism; and for Josep Borrell to meet his Asian interlocutors. The ministerial paved the way for the ASEM summit on 16-17 November 2020 in Cambodia.

Ministers engaged in a lively debate during their retreat session touching on the above and other sensitive issues such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Kashmir, Syria and the Donbas.

The new High Representative used the opportunity of the ASEM foreign ministers meeting in Madrid this week to hold bilateral talks with a number of Asian colleagues. He judged the ASEM to have been a success and hoped that in future there could be more focus on fewer subjects with the possibility of joint actions.

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abe

Abe, Juncker sign connectivity partnership

30 September 2019

On 27 September 2019, Jean-Claude Juncker and Shinzo Abe signed a connectivity partnership designed to boost cooperation between the EU and Japan on infrastructure projects. 

Building on its Connectivity Strategy of last September, Juncker said the EU wanted to do more with Asia and specifically Japan, a likeminded country. He praised Japan’s contribution to the rules-based international order and said that there were limitless possibilities to future cooperation.

Abe welcomed the EU’s initiative and said that Japan shared the EU’s approach to promoting rules-based connectivity that is sustainable across the board – fiscally, economically, socially and environmentally.

 

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army

China’s Defence White paper

26 July 2019

26 July 2019

On 24 July, the Chinese government released its latest white paper on defence, updating the 2011 document, published before President Xi took office. In the press conference accompanying the launch of the white paper, State Council officials said that China had always been a peace-loving nation, as illustrated by the lack of offensive military action since 1949. The central concept at the basis of the nation’s military strategy had always been ‘self-defence.’

But the paper also indicates that China will not shy away from employing its military to defend its national interests. Compared to the previous strategy, this year’s white paper not only strikes an increasingly assertive tone towards Taiwan, but also identifies the United States as the single most precarious threat to China’s national security.

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Mogherini on the EU's Security Role in Asia

7 June 2019

7 June 2019

Federica Mogherini outlined the EU’s growing security role in Asia at the Shangri-La dialogue on 1 June. She said that the EU’s ambition was not only to be the key economic partner for Asia, but also to become a security partner.

She said that Asian partners were showing a constantly growing interest in closer and deeper cooperation with the EU on security issues; from counter terrorism to maritime security.

The EU had military-to-military talks with eleven Asian countries and there were a growing number of military advisors in the EU delegations. A number of Asian partners had also signed agreements to participate in CSDP missions. Many had contributed to Operation Atalanta, fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia.

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eujapsummit

EU-Japan Harmony

30 April 2019

The EU-Japan summit on 25 April was full of harmony with both sides emphasising how much they had in common: preserving the rules-based multilateral system, fighting protectionism, promoting democracy and human rights, protecting the environment, supporting the Iran nuclear deal and the complete nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

Prime Minister Abe was visiting a number of countries to prepare for the G20 summit in Osaka in June. Immediately after Brussels he flew to Washington for a meeting with Trump. The US was the elephant in the room at the summit as both the EU and Japan were suffering from tariffs imposed by Trump and both faced the prospect of further tariffs on cars.

The leaders agreed on an extensive joint statement, illustrating the breadth of the current and future cooperation between the two parties, which now jointly constitute the world's largest free trading area.

 

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