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 – Japan-South Korea Cooperation Rests on the Rule of Law

A long-standing legal axiom holds that courts should render similar decisions in similar cases.

Nikkei Asia – U.S. rules force South Korea’s EV battery makers to rethink China deals

Top executives from South Korean battery maker SK On and its two suppliers — EcoPro and GEM of China — must have thought the future was rosy when they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March to launch a joint venture.

The Diplomat – China Won’t Invade Taiwan – For Now

On the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Meeting in San Francisco last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told U.S. President Joe Biden that Taiwan is the “biggest” and “most dangerous issue” between the United States and China.

South China Morning Post – US-China’s ‘tense’ Pacific power play to persist after Australia-Papua New Guinea security pact

Power tensions between the United States and China in the Pacific will continue to be “tense and dynamic” even as Australia and Papua New Guinea forge deeper relations through a newly signed historic security pact, according to analysts.

The Diplomat – China Threatens US Interests in Micronesia, Former President Warns

David Panuelo, the former president of the Federated States of Micronesia, came to Washington last week to warn that, without U.S. support, his country is becoming increasingly vulnerable to Beijing’s influence efforts.

The Diplomat – How Will Laos Handle Its 2024 Chairmanship of ASEAN?

There was a palpable sense of apprehension among onlookers as Indonesia passed the gavel of the ASEAN chairmanship to Laos at its summit in September.