Spotlight on Geopolitics

Asian Union Plans Attract Japan

The plans for creating an Asian economic community grouping China, ASEAN and Japan have received an important boost recently. During his informal meeting in New York with Chinese president Hu Jintao, the new Japanese premier Mr. Hatoyama has proposed the creation of an East-Asian community which would emulate the model of the European Union. Closer… » read more

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An Alien Goes to Washington

Although on paper Japan has been a democracy for over six decades, true political change in leadership has sidestepped it until this fall. On the 30th of August the LDP, Japan’s traditional ruling party – which in practice ruled the country as a one-party state – lost the parliamentary elections in favour of the Democratic… » read more

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US: A Farewell to Arms

The Obama Administration’s decision to scrap the infamous missile shield in Europe has to be considered one of its most important foreign policy decisions to date. Almost immediately, premier Putin of Russia has called it “just and courageous” and has promised to abandon plans to place Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. Chancellor Merkel and president Sarkozy… » read more

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UK Political Storm Over

The last two weeks or so have been especially testing for British premier Gordon Brown. First, the MP expenses scandal rocked the “mother of all parliaments”. Last week, backstabbing was the order of the day, no less than six cabinet members giving up their positions and provoking a huge reshuffle. By Monday night the storm… » read more

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In the run-up to the European elections, German and French conservatives are pushing for a “privileged partnership” arrangement for Turkey, as opposed to full EU membership. From the West of the continent to the Balkans, the issue of Turkey’s accession is a hot one, given the 16 million Muslims now living within the Union’s borders.… » read more

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The Phnom Penh Agenda

Overshadowed by increased military tension in the Korean peninsula, the 17th EU-ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh last week has nevertheless achieved a few notable successes. Before the start of the meeting, Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner had expressed the view that : “the EU and ASEAN are two successful examples of regional integration in the world”… » read more

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We’d better face it: this Korean crisis is more ominous than any in the past 20 years or so. The Pyongyang leadership – shaky, bankrupt and fearful of change – is clearly on its last legs. What do Stalinist dictators do in such circumstances ? They flex their military muscle and, if they’ve got it,… » read more

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The recent underground nuclear test performed by North Korea has shaken not only the Korean Peninsula, but all major capitals around the world, from Beijing to Moscow to Washington D.C. The charge was four times as powerful than the one in 2006, having roughly the same capacity as the Nagasaki nuclear blast. What is less… » read more

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In the first quarter of 2009, eurozone economies have contracted for the first time in 60 years by around 2.5 percent. Unemployment is expected to rise to around 10 percent of the workforce by 2010, while consumption of goods and services has decreased accordingly. All across the continent, car makers, builders and exporters are feeling… » read more

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