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EU Affairs

EU-China: Human Rights Only Come Second for Conservatives

Largely unnoticed by the public – Brexit had been the dominant topic at the turn of the year – the EU Commission concluded negotiations on an investment agreement with the People’s Republic of China shortly before New Year’s Eve. The driving force behind the trade agreement, which largely excludes questions about Chinese human rights violations, was the German government. At the beginning of the German EU Presidency in the summer of 2020, Angela Merkel announced that the EU had a great strategic interest in “actively shaping cooperation with China, one of the key players of this century.”

Categories
EU Affairs Security & Defence

Corona and the Struggle for Sovereignty of Interpretation

The pandemic will determine the rules of international politics in the future

 

In a statement of 24 March 2020 Josep Borell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, formulated a fundamental insight. According to him, we are currently experiencing a global struggle to interpret what is actually happening in the context of the pandemic. In this struggle we must not overlook the geopolitical dimension. According to Borell, the central question here is who will play the role of “saviour”. Ultimately, then, it is a question of nothing less than the readjustment of political influence on the world stage. It should not be forgotten that this debate is also being conducted with those who want to dismantle the European Union.

Categories
EU Affairs Human Rights & Rule of Law

Pangolin Instead of Panda for Prague? – Turnaround in Czech-Chinese Relations

The capitals of the Czech Republic and Taiwan, Prague and Taipei, signed a partnership agreement on Monday last week in the city of Moldova

 

The Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Taiwanese counterpart Ko Wen-je signed a partnership agreement on joint economic and cultural cooperation between the two cities last week. The agreement comes just three months after the cancellation of the partnership agreement with Beijing, which failed due to the Prague city government’s opposition to the One-China clause in the previous agreement. China is angry and threatens the Czech capital with retaliatory measures. It also seems that President Miloš Zeman, Beijing’s strongest supporter in the Czech Republic to date, is gradually deviating from his strict pro-China course.

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Security & Defence

Global Zero – A Nuclear Weapon (Test) Free World

 

Exactly thirty years ago, on August 29, 1991, the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan closed down. Within three decades it had witnessed more than 400 Soviet nuclear tests; almost a quarter of all nuclear tests on the planet. The date marks today the International Day against Nuclear Tests.