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Covid-19 - Lessons from East Asia

Covid-19 - Lessons from East Asia

By Jan Willem Blankert

5 May 2020

In stark contrast to East Asia, Europe has paid a heavy price for complacency, neglect and hubris in responding to Covid-19.

European countries started locking down in March, a full six weeks after the complete lockdown of Wuhan. Many doctors, politicians and the public thought Covid-19 would remain confined to China and its Asian neighbours. Few paid attention to the WHO warning on 31 January when it declared the virus “a global public health threat” or even when the first cases were reported in Europe.

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Moon Jae In

Korean elections and the EU

By Antti Tulonen

17 April 2020

Riding on its Covid-19 success, President Moon Jae-In’s administration received a decisive vote of confidence in the 15 April parliamentary elections with Moon’s Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner winning a record 180 out of the 300 seats in the National Assembly. What will the victory mean for the South Korea’s foreign policy and the EU?

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coal, china, covid19

On China, COVID-19 and Coal

By Antti Tulonen

13 April 2020

Can the EU convince China not to lean on coal for its economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis?

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Global supply chains

Decouple the EU from China?

By Michael Gobbel

31 March 2020

The initial response to the Covid-19 virus has been characterized by the erection of national barriers to goods and people and a new propaganda war with China at the centre. However, moving supply chains away from China would only treat the symptom rather than the root problem; and it would be an unsustainable endeavor that would cost European citizens dearly.

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Cambodia-Europe (Credit

The EUs Values Based Foreign Policy – the Case of Cambodia

By Antti Tulonen

8 March 2020

In February, the EU withdrew the tariff preferences for Cambodia under its ‘Everything but Arms’ (EBA) trading scheme due to human rights violations and at same time 'rewarded' Vietnam with a trade deal. What does this mean for EU's values based foreign policy?

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Indian Flag

India’s ‘Data Sovereignty’ problematic for EU

By Antti Tulonen

2 March 2020

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Brussels on 13 March to discuss expanding relations between the two largest democratic blocs in the world. The two sides will sign agreements on the environment, security and with Euratom. They will also agree to establish a high level economic and trade dialogue that could pave the way for a resumption of the stalled FTA talks. This will also be the first summit involving the new EU leadership and both sides will showcase it as an affirmation that the EU and India are two staunch pillars of the multilateral system.

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Aung San Suu Kyi and Xi Jinping in Naypyitawm, Myanmar, on 18 Jan 2020

Myanmar – back on track with BRI?

By Antti Tulonen

11 February 2020

On 18 January 2020, BRI projects in Myanmar appeared to be back on track as Xi Jinping and Aung San Suu Kyi announced their countries renewed commitment to cooperate. Myanmar had been among the countries wary over the infamous debt trap narrative. Has China heeded to the criticism about BRI?

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EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

EU-Asia relations set to deepen despite Brexit

By Fraser Cameron

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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EU-China improve multi trade system

Can the EU and China improve the multilateral trade system without the United States?

By John Farnell

8 December 2019

The disruptive approach of the United States towards international economic relations has changed the way that China and the EU talk to each other about the rules of trade. This is not surprising: international trade is more important to these two mega-economies than to the United States.

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Welcome recalibration of sino greek relations

Welcome Recalibration of Sino-Greek Relations

By Plamen Tonchev

7 November 2019

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis returns from a visit to Shanghai and hosts China’s president Xi Jinping in Athens three days later – no doubt, the media cannot miss this! The exchange of high-level visits between Greece and China within a single week would suggest an impressively tight bond between the two countries. Yet, this may be a bit of a rash conclusion. Assessing Sino-Greek relations and guessing where they may be heading next requires a step back in time and a look at the way the two countries got to this point. 

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