Monthly Archives: November 2013

Brussels putting up a fight in Central Asia

Coinciding with the final winding down of NATO operations in Afghanistan and on the heels of a much-touted tour of the region by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the European Union is willing to put up a decent fight for influence in Central Asia, in close competition with traditional powerhouse Russia and emerging giant China. Just one […]

José Manuel and Herman go to China

After a trade war was narrowly avoided earlier this year, European Commission President José Manuel Durao Barroso and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy will land on Friday in Beijing. One of their stated goals is to help narrow the EU’s huge trade deficit in trade in goods with China, amounting €146 billion in 2012 […]

30 years on, doubts go on in the CPC

Today, I stumbled upon a very interesting article, dug from the annals of post-Maoist sinology: a piece from November 1983 discussing China’s Communist Party campaign to crack down on what Deng Xiaoping himself termed the “Spiritual Pollution” inside the Party and in the wider Chinese society. Apart from revealing that there was no death penalty […]

Russia’s East Asian counterbalance

Exactly one week ago, we discussed South Korea’s President Park visit to Europe, which ended on Friday with a Joint Declaration celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea. With tensions between Brussels and Moscow running high in advance of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, and with […]

China’s Periphery Diplomacy Initiative: a winning move

As reported by B. Glaser and D. Pal in a very informative article on the China US Focus website,  the Chinese government recently organized a high level meeting dedicated to periphery diplomacy for the first time ever. It was the first major gathering on foreign policy in Beijing since 2006, and it was attended by the entire […]

Bracing for Eurospies

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding attempted to shock the intelligence community by asserting that the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020 in order for Europe to “level the playing field with our US partners”. Is she for real? While the EU already has its own smallish intelligence body in INTCEN, it has neither spooks […]

President Park goes to Brussels

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is headed to Europe, where she plans to make three stops in the course of one full week: France, the United Kingdom… and Belgium. This choice of visits reflects the priority given in this emerging industrial and military power to the European Union after their relationship was upgraded to a Strategic […]