About


About the Asia Programme

ECFR’s Asia Programme has led the way for over a decade in providing policy-focused expertise, conducting in-country research, and developing unrivalled pan-European outreach. Its events, publications, and regular analyses cover both internal debates in Asia, and European conversations about Asia – especially China, India, and Japan. Together they have helped strengthen European understanding of the region, its key players, and Europe’s own actions there.

Looking back on a decade of experience …

The programme made its mark with a groundbreaking report released in 2009: “A power audit of EU-China relations”. Since then, the programme has intensively and successfully campaigned to raise awareness of the growing power imbalance between the EU and China, and to highlight the lack of prioritisation, continuity, or coordination among Europeans on this issue. In 2017, the programme published a major follow-up report – “China at the gates: A new power audit of EU-China relations”which highlighted the increasingly urgent steps Europe should take to shore itself up in its relations with China, especially on the economic and commercial front.

Throughout the life of the programme, ECFR has provided in-depth analysis of internal developments and debates in China, through important publications such as “China 3.0”, “What does China think?”, and “Xi Jinping’s China”. This has given Europeans insight into the latest thinking inside the People’s Republic. ECFR has also undertaken and released detailed studies of China’s external footprint, such as the seminal study “China’s scramble for Europe”.

Finally, ECFR’s China Analysis quarterly publication has for many years drawn directly on Chinese-language sources to introduce audiences in the West to the strategic debates taking place inside China’s expert and think-tank worlds. China Analysis was designed to help the European policy community understand how China’s leadership thinks about the domestic and foreign policy issues that shape the country’s future relationship with Europe and the world.

… and Asia analysis post-2020

Starting in 2020, the Asia programme’s new research and convening role seeks to help Europe recalibrate its relationship with China and its other Asian partners. The programme’s experts analyse China’s domestic situation, its role in the region, and its increasing influence around the world. The Asia programme will also place renewed emphasis on fostering Europe’s relationships with India and Japan.

Along with events and private briefings to decision-makers and policy-makers across Europe, our experts regularly publish commentaries covering emerging developments in the region. The Asia Programme and its expert staff also regularly feature in ECFR audio podcasts. You can subscribe to ECFR’s podcast streams via the multimedia page of our website or through iTunes.

The Asia Programme works along ECFR’s Council, which comprises former presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers, alongside public intellectuals and the private sector. This ensures that our research is focused on actionable, practical output. With offices in seven European capitals, ECFR is particularly well placed to engage a range of governments and to help shape an improved EU member state response to the challenges and opportunities offered by Asia.

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