Asian News Outlook. Archive by year: 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010

Asian News Outlook

EIAS reports on the news in Asia, highlighting important developments in relation to the EU. You can subscribe to our newsfeed through RSS.

27 August 2014

In Pakistan, the past two weeks were marked by mass demonstrations organised by opposition leader and former international cricket star Imran Khan. The protesters’ goal is to topple the current Pakistani government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is accused of alleged fraud in last year’s national elections.

22 August 2014

On August 21 and 22, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a two-day official visit to Mongolia, during which both sides agreed to boost bilateral ties by upgrading their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Furthermore, they pledged to increase the volume of bilateral trade to USD 10 billion by 2020; it currently stands at USD 6 billion.

14 August 2014

On 12 August, three weeks after the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting co-chaired by Catherine Ashton and Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Binh Minh, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy carried out a one-day visit to Hanoi. Defined as an “important catalyst” by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the visit was the first paid by the EU foreign minister to Vietnam since the Lisbon Treaty came into effect in 2009.

13 August 2014

From 8 to 10 August, the 21st meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the 4th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting were held in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw under the motto "Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community." One of the most active participants was Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who on the sidelines met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, marking the first meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats since the launch of Shinzo Abe’s second cabinet in December 2012.

12 August 2014

On August 7, 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) convicted the two top surviving cadres of the Khmer Rouge regime, Nuon Chea, 88 and Khieu Samphan, 83, and sentenced them to 35 years in prison. “Their condemnation is an important positive step in the global fight against impunity. It demonstrates that any political leaders can be held accountable for their acts, even decades after they were committed,” said the EU Spokesperson.

8 August 2014

On Monday, 4 August 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded an “historic” visit to Nepal, constituting the first visit to the Himalayan nation by an Indian Prime Minister in 17 years. Despite shared borders and traditionally close India-Nepal ties since ancient times, the two countries’ bilateral relationship had been deadlocked during the past few years, largely caused by political discrepancies and aggravated by the controversy around the development of joint trans-boundary water resources.

7 August 2014

On 5 August 2014, the Japanese cabinet released Japan’s annual defence white paper, containing an assessment of the security environment surrounding Japan, the country’s national security strategy, the National Defence Program Guidelines, strategies to actively promote Japan’s security cooperation with other countries, as well as the cabinet decision on exercising the right to collective self-defence.

5 August 2014

On July 28 2014, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region saw a new major clash between Muslim Uighurs and Chinese police forces with a death toll of almost 100 people. While the Chinese state media accuse Uighur separatists of the attack, claiming that they stormed a police station as well as numerous government buildings, the US-based Uighur American Association (UAA) claims that Chinese security forces opened fire on Uighurs protesting against a Ramadan crackdown on Muslims.

31 July 2014

Catherine Ashton, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, following the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial meeting on 22-23 July; travelled on 28 July for an official two-day visit to Manila, where she met with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

29 July 2014

On 22-23 July 2014 the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) was held in Brussels, co-chaired by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission; and Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and Country Coordinator of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations.

25 July 2014

On Tuesday, 22 July, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced that an agreement had been reached for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, after two years of negotiations. At a press conference, Abe expressed his hope that the agreement will gain approval from both countries' parliaments early next year.

24 July 2014

On Tuesday 22 July 2014 the Indonesian elections results were announced, confirming the victory of the governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo. The future of Indonesia is uncertain following the elections. Under the Jokowi presidency, a new era of Indonesian politics might be on its way. The question is whether Jokowi will prove to be the right man to lead the country through its transition.

22 July 2014

The South Korean stance on illegal fishing is turning its tide, according to the Director General of the South Korean Ministry of Ocean Fisheries, Mr Choi Wan-huyn. At the ‘2014 Korean Ocean Week’, held last week, Mr Choi admittedly pointed at the country’s ‘lukewarm’ attitudes towards International fishing standards, but reiterated that genuine improvements from South Korea are lurking on the horizon.

16 July 2014

From July 14-16 2014, the BRICS Group – consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – held in Brazil its sixth Summit. The focus was placed primarily on themes relating to social inclusion and sustainable development. This summit has attracted particular attention owing to the signing of a deal to create a new Development Bank to be based in Shanghai and an emergency reserve fund among the BRICS.

15 July 2014

From 7 to 11 July 2014, the EU and Japan held the sixth round of negotiations on the anticipated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that is slated to be part of a broader Economic Partnership (EPA). The talks resumed after the EU’s assessment of the progress that was achieved during the first year and whether Japan had adequately implemented the commitments it made prior to the official launch of the negotiations in 2013. In line with the EU’s negotiation mandate, the Commission is currently finalising a report on the progress findings to be presented to the Council later in 2014.

13 July 2014

On Wednesday, July 9, 186 million Indonesian voters went to the 550,000 polling stations spread across the archipelago to vote for the country’s future president, marking Indonesia’s third free and fair election. The two candidates, Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and former general Prabowo Subianto ran effective campaigns gathering considerable national and international attention, as both candidates highlight the greater changes occurring in Indonesia’s political landscape.

9 July 2014

On July 6 German Chancellor Angela Merkel embarked on a three-day visit to the People’s Republic of China accompanied by a delegation of German business leaders, her seventh since her election in 2005. First landing in Chengdu, where she toured a Volkswagen-operated factory and praised the Southwestern province’s “vitality,” she then flew to Beijing for her official meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Items on the agenda comprised of trade talks, technology and cultural exchanges.

4 July 2014

In May 2014 a report was leaked in which the advisors to president Shinzo Abe recommended Japan to revisit its defence laws, and more specifically, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. On Tuesday, the Abe administration approved a major reinterpretation of the country's pacifist post-war constitution, allowing the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense.

3 July 2014

International spectators are not new to North Korea’s boasting war rhetoric and sabre rattling in international politics. The North’s most recent outbursts, just a few days before of Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping’s visit to South Korea – scheduled on July 3 and 4 – came therefore with little surprise.

2 July 2014

The new Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for China was published on 1 July 2014, in which the results demonstrate a slight recovery of the Chinese manufacturing sector. The PMI is an economic indicator elaborated through a series of monthly surveys to 400 companies, analysing variables such as employment, new customer orders, production, speed of supplier delivery and inventory. PMI results above 50 points denote an expansion of the manufacturing economy, while results below highlight a contraction in the market.