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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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Great Powers

“Leadership and the rise of Great Powers”

By Roderick Kefferpütz

29 October 2019

Who is the world’s moral superpower? 

Morality as an instrument of power to gain alliances and become the world’s hegemon, that’s the key argument made by Chinese foreign policy expert Yan Xuetong in his new book “Leadership and the rise of Great Powers”. This review applies this concept in today’s grand struggle for hegemony between the United States and China and asks whether indeed it might not be Europe that could benefit most as a moral superpower.

 “May you live in interesting times.” This supposedly Chinese wish isn’t particularly well-meaning. Interesting times are troubled, even dangerous times. But whether we like it or not, we are living in interesting times. The end of history, which the American political theorist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed at the end of the Cold War, is long over. Geopolitics has returned with a vengeance. The United States and China are locked in a struggle for hegemony that will define the 21stcentury as much as the Cold War defined the preceding one. For the moment, this struggle is primarily played out in the economic and technological sphere. But a spill-over into other domains is not unthinkable. 

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Changing Asia

Changing Asia and the EU

By Fraser Cameron

28 October 2019

Changing Asia – EU Struggling for influence


The following reflects talks with a wide range of stakeholders in several Asian countries (Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand) over the past month. 

The dominant issue everywhere is the rise of China and its implications for the region as well as each individual country. A related concern is the unpredictability of the Trump administration – his outspoken attacks on the alliances with Japan/Korea, his admiration and friendships with Xi and Kim – and US goals via-a-vis China. 

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong - What Now?

By Fraser Cameron

22 October 2019

The Hong Kong crisis – what now? 

The demonstrations in Hong Kong have now been going on for several months and are becoming more violent. Molotov cocktails have been thrown at the police who have responded by firing warning shots with live ammunition. Last week a protestor was shot and a policeman stabbed. This is highly unusual as Hong Kong has no tradition of violent protests.

As tensions mount between the public and police, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, is struggling to restore order and find a solution. If she fails, Beijing has threatened to intervene — a move that could bring to an end what remains of the 'one country, two systems' model that was agreed when Britain returned sovereignty to China in 1997. Meanwhile Hong Kong is losing business to rival cities and tourists are staying away. 

With local elections scheduled for 24 November, there is considerable uncertainty about the future. A sweeping victory for the Pan Democratic movement would further complicate matters.

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In Privacy We Trust - Can Europe Lead in AI?

By Antti Tulonen

30 September 2019

The EU should not emulate the lax regulatory approach of China or the US to compete, but to leverage its pioneering privacy rules as a competitive advantage.

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The EU and Hong Kong

By David Hutt

23 August 2019

23 August 2019

In our latest opinion editorial, political journalist David Hutt considers what the implications of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong may be for the Sino-European relationship, and how the EU ought to respond.

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