The Changing Geopolitical and Geo-Economic Dynamics in East Asia

The Changing Geopolitical and Geo-Economic Dynamics in East Asia

Brussels Office | Foreign and Security Policy

, 14:00 | EIAS - European Institute For Asian Studies | Rue de la Loi 26, 10th Floor, 1040 Brussels

Due to its increasing living standards, economic stature, and demographic trends, East Asia is projected to see its importance rise even further in the 21st century. The three core countries in the region, namely China, Japan, and South Korea are in a constant tug-of-war to increase their economic influence intra- and extra-regionally. However, while China had gradually risen to one of the most important global actors, Japan’s and South Korea’s comparative significance started to decrease in the last decades. Consequently, the balance of power in East Asia has been shaken. Based on these factors, the conference organised by the Antall József Knowledge Centre in partnership with the European Institute For Asian Studies, focuses on the geopolitical and geo-economic dimensions of the changing dynamics of East Asia in the upcoming decades: the first panel seeks to shed light on the impact of the altering regional landscape on the three traditional East Asian powers, while the second panel aims to focus on the European Union’s perspective of the matter at hand.


Venue: EIAS - European Institute For Asian Studies
Rue de la Loi 26, 10th Floor, 1040 Brussels

Date: 28 September 2021


The conference is public, but registration is needed.

The conference will be held in English.

Please note that admission to the conference will be granted on the basis of a valid COVID Safe Certificate at the entrance. (Complete vaccination of more than 2 weeks, a negative test result of less than 72 hours, or a recovery certificate within 6 months.)

Draft Programme


2:00pm – 2:10pm Opening Remarks

Balázs Hamar, Head of the Brussels Office, Antall József Knowledge Centre

Lin Goethals, Director, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)


2:10pm - 2:55pm Panel I: The China–Japan–South-Korea Triangle in an Increasingly Competitive East Asian Arena

As China gradually asserts its geopolitical and geo-economic interests, Japan and South Korea also have to find a way to keep a steady pace in one of the world’s most competitive economic structures. However, besides regional rivalry, integration frameworks also must be kept in mind to satisfy the increasing East Asian economic interests. The discussion will focus on how the three countries are maneuvering in an increasingly competitive East Asia and how they are contributing to the rise of the region as a whole. At the same time, the challenges that these countries face, be it at the regional level or on the global stage, will also be examined.


  • Sunkung Choi, Assistant Professor, Center for East Asian Studies Groningen, University of Groningen
  • Duncan Freeman, Senior Research Fellow, Brussels Diplomatic Academy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Wolfgang Pape, Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS
  • Moderator: Norbert Miklós, International Relations Manager, Global Office, Antall József Knowledge Centre


2:55pm – 3:15pm Coffee Break


3:15pm – 4:00pm Panel II: How the European Union May Adapt to the Changing Dynamics in East Asia?

With the rapid expansion of bilateral commercial relations during the past couple of decades, the three core East Asian countries have gradually become an important piece of the puzzle for the European Union’s economic interests. The shifting structures of the East Asian economies, however, lead the EU to take on a different approach. How can the EU adapt to the shifting regional supply chains? How can it maintain its negotiating capacity with traditional East Asian partners, while also developing effective economic and political relationships with new actors? And most importantly, how can the EU benefit from the ongoing changes?


  • HE Ambassador Yoon Soongu, Head, Mission of the Republic of Korea to the European Union
  • Richard Griffiths, Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Leiden University
  • Philipp Gross, Deputy Head of Division, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, EEAS
  • Moderator: Erik Famaey, Senior Associate, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)


4:00pm – 5:00pm Networking Reception


Brussels Office