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Interview with Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director Asia and Pacific at the EEAS

17 March 2016

EUAC: Welcome to the new position. What were your first thoughts on being appointed as MD for Asia?

GW: I was delighted to be moving to a region which is characterised by its dynamic growth, its diversity and home to four of the EU’s strategic partners. I travelled frequently to Asia when I was spokesman for Commissioner Chris Patten so I am very pleased to reconnect with Asia.

EUAC: Why does Asia matter to Europe?

GW: As HR/VP Mogherini often says security is global in nature.

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Myanmar new president

Htin Kyaw new President of Myanmar

17 March 2016

Htin Kyaw, a close ally of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to victory in historic elections in November, has been elected Myanmar’s first civilian president for over half a century.

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sanctions DPRK

Tough New UN Sanctions on DPRK

29 February 2016

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has agreed on tough new sanctions in response to North Korea\'s recent nuclear test and missile launch. Over the past 10 years, North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests and launched six long-range missiles - all in violation of Security Council resolutions.

After lengthy negotiations, principally between the US and China, both sides accepted the need to send a strong signal to Pyongyang by imposing the strongest set of sanctions imposed by the Security Council in more than 20 years.

The new sanctions aim to cut off the trade and funding of North Korea’s nuclear programme and its military, and to target the DPRK leadership and officials directly involved in these illicit activities. These include:

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vietnam party congress

Continuity in Vietnam

4 February 2016

The EU does not expect any major changes following the results of the communist party congress in Hanoi. Officials consider that the re-election of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will provide for stability and continuity. The challenge of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung failed as he had insufficient support within the party, with many of the old guard worried that he was pushing ahead too fast with his reform programme. Little is known about Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who will replace Dung in a few months, nor the Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang, who will be the country\'s new president.

As regards EU-Vietnam relations both sides are pleased that the partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) is nearly ratified – only three Member States still to ratify. The FTA is also complete and is being prepared for ratification. 

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Tsai Ing Wen

Change in Taiwan

18 January 2016

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a sweeping victory in the presidential and legislative elections that Taiwan held on 16 January. Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP\'s chairperson, becomes the first female president in Taiwan’s history. She defeated Eric Chu, the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate by 56% to 30%. The DPP will also have an absolute majority in the new legislature.

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