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korea

The presidential election in South Korea

By Mascha Peters

14 April 2017

On 10 March the constitutional court of South Korea upheld a parliamentary motion to impeach president Park Geun-hye, clearing the way for a snap presidential election on 9 May. A clear majority of South Koreans view the first-ever impeachment of a South Korean president as a chance for a fresh start after months of protests, which drew up to one million citizens onto the streets. With at least 61 members of the ruling New Frontier Party (NFP) voting in favour of Park’s impeachment, hopes are now high for a democratic boost for the country. The scale of civic protest is comparable only to the one which triggered the downfall of the last authoritarian regime 30 years ago.

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trump

How Trump can win the Nobel Peace Prize

By Fraser Cameron, Director

4 April 2017

Sir, You report (April 3) that President Donald Trump “is prepared to tackle North Korea alone” but it should be painfully clear to everyone that there is no military solution to the problem of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons. There is no certainty that the US knows the whereabouts of all North Korea’s launch sites, and any attack would lead to a devastating retaliatory strike on Seoul — a metropolis of 10m just 60km from South Korea’s border with the North.

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G20

Asia wants a stronger global role for Europe

By Fraser Cameron, Director

17 February 2017

Asked in Washington last Friday (10 February) whether the EU was ready to take on a greater leadership role, Federica Mogerhini gave a clear answer. ‘Yes, we are ready’ said the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Given the international criticism and uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump’s entry into the White House could this indeed be an opportunity for the EU to come of age on the global stage?

At first sight the idea may sound far-fetched what with Brexit, the refugee crisis and the rise of populism throughout Europe. But the EU remains the largest market in the world, the largest provider of development assistance and the strongest supporter of the multilateral system. The European political system has been shaken up but to date there are no populist parties governing any major member state. It is this boring reliability that other powers, especially in Asia, are beginning to recognise as a strength, especially given the unpredictability surrounding the future of US foreign policy.

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euchina

The EU’s Own 'Pivot to Asia'

By Fraser Cameron

12 December 2016

Although there has been much talk of the U.S. “pivot to Asia,” the European Union (EU) has also been increasing its relations with Asia in recent years. The Diplomat’s Shannon Tiezzi spoke with Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Center, about the reasons for the EU pivot and the future of EU engagement with Asia states.

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us-asean

Asian Concerns over Trump

By Fraser Cameron, Director

28 November 2016

Like Europe Asia was stunned at the victory of Donald Trump. Asian leaders were planning on continuity of US policy with Hillary Clinton, one of the architects of the US pivot to Asia, in the White House. Now everything is in the air and uncertainty, whether in security or trade or human rights, reigns supreme.

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MES2

EU-China economic ties will withstand disputes over MES

By Fraser Cameron

27 July 2016

Just a week after the issue of market economy status dominated the EU-China summit in Beijing, the Commission discussed on 20 July the results of the impact assessment undertaken by DG Trade.

The discussion focused on the political, economic and legal implications of a decision on MES which must be taken by the end of the year. For China the matter is clear. China was promised MES 15 years after it joined in 2001. There can be no arguing – the promise must be kept. For the EU there is a strong legal view that the Chinese are in the right and failure to grant China MES would result in a lengthy fight at the WTO which the EU would probably lose.

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EU ASEAN

The EU’s Mixed Strategy for SE Asia

By Fraser Cameron

22 June 2016

The EU’s mixed strategy towards SE Asia, supporting the association of south-east Asian nations (ASEAN) while pursuing bilateral agreements, is showing results. The EU has proposed an ambitious menu of support for the ten-member ASEAN and its new ASEAN Economic Community, and offered to develop its relations into a strategic partnership. 

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Merkel in China

“Beijing-Berlin connection” revisited

By Mikko Huotari

20 June 2016

Germany has built a more cooperative relationship with China than most Western nations. But even Angela Merkel’s influence in Beijing only goes so far, as her recent trip has shown. In light of Beijing's more aggressive foreign policy, Germany is well advised to coordinate its China policy.

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China Iran

China, the EU and the Middle East

By Fraser Cameron, Director

25 May 2016

As the United States reduces its engagement in the Middle East, a process that could accelerate dramatically with Donald Trump in the White House, both the EU and China have been increasing their engagement. Some experts consider that there could even be scope for cooperation as the EU and China share a number of interests.

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The Price of Human Rights

The Price of Human Rights

By Susanna Mocker

11 May 2016

Since the onset of the financial crisis, the price of raising human rights issues with Asian partners has increased for Europe. The promotion of human rights and democracy are supposedly at the heart of EU foreign policy. In article 21(2) Lisbon Treaty the Union committed itself to “consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principle of international law” in “all fields of international relations”. While the article also outlines other goals, democracy and human rights rank highest after securing the EU’s fundamental interests. Since 2009 these fundamental interests are increasingly equated with much needed economic growth, which the EU partly seeks in the world’s most dynamic economic region: Asia.

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