Europe - East Asia

While Europe has long been an important economic power in the Asia Pacific, its political profile until recently has been rather weak. In recent months, however, Europe has taken important steps to strengthen its political involvement in the region, notably on the Korean Peninsula. This more active stance reflects progress in efforts to make European foreign policies more coherent and effective through a strengthening of the European Union’s “Common Foreign and Security Policy,” including the appointment of a high representative for foreign relations. Europe’s increasing influence in the Asia Pacific can also be felt economically, as Europe’s negotiations with Beijing over China’s WTO membership have made clear. Still, in keeping with its peculiar characteristics as a “composite” international actor and its rather modest self-defined role in the Asia Pacific, Europe’s political influence in the region remains that of an important subsidiary player, rather than of a great power. On the whole, Europe’s modest but gradually growing involvement has been constructive and welcome.

Daily Digest

The Diplomat: Why Hasn’t the ASEAN Economic Community Benefited From the US-China Trade War?

The inability of Southeast Asian countries to take advantage of the US-China trade dispute is the result of structural weaknesses in the ASEAN Economic Community.

South China Morning Post: US fears China-backed resort in Cambodia could house military and ‘threaten coherence in Asean’

Why Cambodia’s Dara Sakor resort has raised suspicions that the development will eventually become a Chinese military base.

Asia Times: Beijing strengthens its hold on South China Sea

Why China’s missile tests in the South China Sea could signal an increased risk of miscalculation in the region.

The National Interest: Hong Kong’s Crisis Does Not Extend to Taiwan

An explanation of the historical differences between Taiwan and Hong Kong show why the path toward reconciling differences with China must also be different.

Asia Unbound: Can North Korea Be Deterred?

An explanation of the limitations of the deterrence relationship between the US and the DPRK.

The Atlantic: Trump Is Running Out of Time to Denuclearize North Korea

An assessment of what it will take to move the US-DPRK relationship beyond the current stalemate over denuclearization versus ending hostile relations.

The Interpreter: How Indonesia finds itself in the middle of a US-China trade war

An assessment of Indonesia’s efforts to avoid getting caught up in the economic rivalry between the US and China.

The Diplomat: US-Myanmar Policy Under Trump in the Spotlight With New Sanctions

An assessment of the targeted sanctions imposed by the US on Myanmar’s military leaders.

Asia Times: Ignoring the US, Philippines goes with Huawei

Exploring the implications of the Philippine decision to move forward with engaging Huawei to develop its 5G network.

38 North – Remediation of Yongbyon: The First Step Towards Cooperative Threat Reduction?

An explanation of what a cooperative threat reduction approach would look like at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear site.