The EU’s interest in and engagement with North East Asia has grown massively over the last three decades, especially since the turn of the century. Although trading links between Europe and Asia go back many centuries, with the exception of the UK and to a lesser extent France, these links largely disappeared after the end of WW2. While the resurgence has been driven first and foremost by trade, especially since China joined the WTO in 2001, the UK’s residual links have enabled it to exercise significant, even disproportionate, influence on the shaping and implementation of the EU’s Asian policy, for example through the introduction of the EU’s Guidelines on Foreign and Security Policy in East Asia in 2006.
The UK’s departure from the EU may well affect the future direction of the EU’s policy to the region and the purpose of this conference is to examine what relations with the region will look like for both the EU and UK in the post-Brexit world. For example, will the EU, shorn of the UK, be more susceptible to US thinking and influence towards the region, as China initially thought in the aftermath of the UK’s referendum? Or conversely, will the EU gravitate more to the Chinese sphere of influence and if so, what would be the consequences for its relations with China’s neighbours and the neighbours themselves? And what of the UK’s role? Outside the EU will it have a free rein to pursue a more independent foreign policy as Brexiteers argue and if so, what will this mean for its relations with the region? Or will it find itself constrained by a lack of resources to pursue such a policy?
Several attempts have already been made to answer these questions from a mainly trade perspective. In this conference we aim to examine them more from a diplomatic and security perspective, while not ignoring economic aspects but also including wider issues such as the possible impact on educational and research links. In our conference, we also include voices from the region about Brexit, for its impact is not only on EU/UK but affects the whole globe. Our main concern in this context is its impact on the region of North East Asia. While the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU remains far from clear, sufficient time has elapsed since the referendum for countries in the region to adjust their policy perspectives to take account of the UK’s likely departure from the Union, making our questions easier to address.
Friday 1 November
Registration (with tea/coffee)
Opening remarks by:
(20 minutes discussion, 30 minutes discussion)
Chair: Michael Reilly, Non-Resident Fellow of Taiwan Studies Programme, University of Nottingham
First session: The USA-East Asia and the contest to shape a reformed world economic order:What role for Europe and the UK after Brexit?
Speaker: Richard Higgott (Institute for European Studies, Brussels)
Break (with tea/coffee) Group Photograph in Millennium Garden
(20 minutes presentation, 30 minutes discussion)
Chair: Robert Wang (former US Deputy Chief of Mission to China)
Second session: EU and North East Asia: Recent historical context
Speaker: Rod Wye (Chatham House)
Lunch (sandwich lunch)
(20 minutes presentation, 20 minutes discussion)
Chair: Robyn Kingler-Vidra (King’s College London)
Presentation one: Building Taiwan-UK security linkages alter Brexit: A bridge too far
Speaker: Andrew Yang (National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan)
Presentation two: The Japanese government’s response to Brexit
Speaker: David Warren (Chatham House)
Break (with tea/coffee)
3.20-4.50pm (20 minutes presentation, 20 minutes discussion)
Chair: Katharine Adeney(Director of Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham)
Presentation one: US and EU perspectives and responses to China’s strategic challenge
Speaker: Robert Wang (former US Deputy Chief of Mission to China)
Presentation two: China’s BRI infrastructure connection and Brexit
Speaker: Tim Summers (The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Chatham House)
Chair: Michael Reilly, Non-Resident Fellow of Taiwan Studies Programme, University of Nottingham and
Chun-yi Lee (Taiwan Studies Programme)
Saturday 2 November
Chair: Chun-yi Lee (Taiwan Studies Programme)
Presentation one: Taiwan and EU’s connection of innovation?
Speaker: Robyn Kingler-Vidra (King’s College London)
Presentation two: The impact of Brexit on the higher education sector and the connection with East Asia
Speaker: Pei Hsi Lin (SOAS, University of London)
Presentation three: A new World Trade Order? The EU, Brexit and the CPTPP
Speaker: Michael Reilly (Non-Resident Fellow of Taiwan Studies Programme, University of Nottingham)
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