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

Council on Foreign Relations – The U.S.-Australia Alliance: What to Know

A brief summary of the US-Australia relationship in anticipation of Prime Minister Morrison’s visit to Washington on Sept. 20.

South China Morning Post: Will backlash force Duterte to retreat from South China Sea oil exploration deal with Beijing?

Hints that President Duterte may be equivocating on his statement that he would “ignore” the 2016 ruling by an arbitral tribunal on competing claims in the South China Sea.

The Interpreter – The wisdom of Solomons: Taiwan and China’s Pacific power play

A look at the messy business of China-Taiwan competition for diplomatic loyalty from the Solomon Islands.

The Diplomat: North Korea Conducts Second Test of ‘Super-Large’ Multiple Launch Rocket System

Some details about North Korea’s recent “super-large multiple rocket launcher” test.

The Diplomat: What Would a US-Vietnam Strategic Partnership Really Mean?

An assessment of US-Vietnam relations and the implications of the potential upgrade to a “strategic partnership.”

The Diplomat: Moon’s ASEAN Trip Reinforces New Southern Policy

An assessment of President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Southeast Asia.

East Asia Forum: The ‘new’ Taiwan beyond cross-strait relations

An argument that Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy is successfully reducing Taiwan’s dependence on Mainland China and creating a role for Taiwan in promoting regional security.