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Cultivating the cross-Straits generation

Cultivating the cross-Straits generation

7 February 2012

This year’s election in Taiwan on Jan 14, in which current Kuomintang chairman, Ma Ying-jeou defeated Tsai Ing-wen, the candidate of Democratic Progressive Party, came during a critical period of political and economic changes for the Asia-Pacific region. The ongoing global financial and economic crisis has severely affected the region’s major economies, as exports have declined and unemployment is rising rapidly. In addition to the economic uncertainties, Asia-Pacific’s regional stability is further complicated by the forthcoming presidential elections in the United States and the Republic of Korea, the leadership transition in China, and, of course, the recent power transition in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea following the death of Kim Jong-il. Therefore, Ma’s victory is not only significant for political ties across the Straits, but also for wider regional stability.

EU-Asia Centre Board member, Wei Shen, in an article that appeared in the China Daily 4 February 2012 looks at how cross Straits relations will develop post elections in Taiwan.

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Merkel visits China February 2012

Angela Merkel visits China

2 February 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to China on Thursday and Friday will be a good opportunity for her to brief China’s leaders on the outcome of the European Union summit on Monday. Merkel will also argue that it is in China’s interest to invest more in Europe.

The German chancellor will be pleased with the EU summit results, which endorsed Berlin’s long-standing wish for more fiscal discipline in EU member states. But she will still face pressure to provide more funds for struggling Greece and to take more measures to boost domestic demand.

EU-Asia Director, Fraser Cameron comments on the visit in China Daily

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China's Challenges

China's Challenges

19 January 2012

Guy de Jonquieres, Senior Fellow at ECIPE, argues that the global economic crisis has changed the perception that many Western countries shared on China. It is no longer viewed as an unruly and disruptive pupil, but rather a potential financial paymaster. Hence the aim of this paper is to identify and describe the challenges that China is facing in its new role. This paper argues that Chinese developments in all three areas are imposing increasing strains on the country’s political system and institutions and demand new approaches both inside and outside the country. The future for the country is still uncertain due to many vulnerabilities in economic, domestic and foreign policy.

Economists forecast that China’s GDP is to exceed that of the US within a decade or two. Although these predictions may get investors excited, it is also worth remembering that they are based on extrapolations of the past. Yet, challenges such as the obsolescence of growth model, the growing pressure of labour costs, and the lack of diversification lie ahead. These challenges need to be faced by a new government and policy that will balance the fiscal situation and put China back on track for fast economic growth.

The global economic crisis has changed the perception that many Western countries shared on China. It is no longer viewed as an unruly and disruptive pupil, but rather a potential financial paymaster. Hence the aim of this paper is to identify and describe the challenges that China is facing in its new role. This paper argues that Chinese developments in all three areas are imposing increasing strains on the country’s political system and institutions and demand new approaches both inside and outside the country. The future for the country is still uncertain due to many vulnerabilities in economic, domestic and foreign policy.

Economists forecast that China’s GDP is to exceed that of the US within a decade or two. Although these predictions may get investors excited, it is also worth remembering that they are based on extrapolations of the past. Yet, challenges such as the obsolescence of growth model, the growing pressure of labour costs, and the lack of diversification lie ahead. These challenges need to be faced by a new government and policy that will balance the fiscal situation and put China back on track for fast economic growth.

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Taiwan elections

EU's Muted response to Taiwan elections

15 January 2012

Taiwan\'s incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou has won a second term in office promising to further improve ties with mainland China.

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Gareth Evans

Responsibility to Protect

7 January 2012

The question of humanitarian intervention has been an issue of dispute between the EU and several Asian countries with Libya being the most recent example. Former Australian Foreign Minister and EU-Asia Centre Advisory Board member, Gareth Evans, argues that the Responsibility to Protect doctrine has made significant progress in the past decade.

Just 10 years ago, the international response to mass-atrocity crimes -- genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other large-scale crimes against humanity -- was a consensus-free zone. For all the \"never again\" rhetoric and human rights conventions launched with fanfare and sincerity after World War II, an unholy mess was made of dealing with every major man-made human catastrophe from Cambodia in the 1970s to Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s. Today, the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine, or R2P, has become a commonplace of international diplomacy, invoked in crises from the Congo to Kenya to, most notably, last year\'s struggle in Libya.

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The EU, Asia and Climate Change

The EU, Asia and Climate Change

26 November 2011

Kirthi Ramesh, Research Fellow, EU-Asia Centre looks at the positions of the EU and the major Asian players in the run-up to the Durban conference at the end of November.

Despite current economic and financial woes, climate change remains a priority issue for the EU. Speaking in Strasbourg on 15 November, Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that the EU’s goal remained ‘an ambitious, comprehensive, legally binding international framework covering all parties.’ She then added that regrettably Durban was not going to deliver what the EU wanted, namely an internationally binding deal. The number of Kyoto supporters was going down and many in Europe were asking ‘what is the point in making the bridge to the future if nobody will follow us into that future?’ The Commissioner’s critical remarks could have been aimed at a number of Asian countries as well as the US, Brazil and Russia. This policy brief looks at the positions of the EU and the major Asian players in the run-up to the Durban conference at the end of November.

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Who will play Monnet in the Pacific?

Who will play Monnet in the Pacific?

26 November 2011

Metternich v Monnet
 
In the Financial Times of 18 November, Lionel Barber asked who would play the role of Prince Metternich in the Asia-Pacific region? In a response published on 25 November, Fraser Cameron argued that the inspiring figure of Jean Monnet might be a more appropriate role model. It was Monnet who pioneered the \'community approach\' that has served Europe so well in the past fifty years after centuries of \'balance of power\' politics. Despite obvious areas of tension in Asia, there are also encouraging signs of regional cooperation, especially on the trade front. The EU should not seek to impose its model on any other region but there are aspects of European integration that could serve as a useful model to the Asia-Pacific region.

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Global Shift

Global Shift

20 November 2011

A recent study by the Transatlantic Academy reveals that growing threats to the current global governance structure—especially the rise of China—show the deep need for focused transatlantic cooperation over a range of issues in an emerging multipolar world.

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Stanley Crossick

EU-Asia Centre remembers Stanley Crossick

16 November 2011

Stanley Crossick died a year ago on 20 November 2010. His towering presence in Brussels is sorely missed at think tank meetings, in private discussions and in print. Stanley was one of the intellectual founders of the EU-Asia Centre and indeed had been designated as the first President until his untimely death. He was one of the first in Europe to recognise the growing importance of Asia and the implications for the EU. He was passionate about the need to provide a platform for continuous debate and discussion about EU-Asia relations and he would have been pleased to see that the Centre has been successfully established. If still alive he would certainly have been active in promoting the Centre. We remember him with gratitude. 
The Board

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Ashton in Japan

Ashton in Japan

7 November 2011

EU-Asia Centre Senior Advisor, Axel Berkofsky offers a critical review of the lack of progress in EU-Japan relations

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