Following on from the European leg of launches in Berlin, Brussels and Paris, ASEF launched its publication “Asia in the Eyes of Europe – Images of a Rising Giant” during a series of briefings in Beijing (2 July), Shanghai (4 July) and Tokyo (5 July) to highlight the findings of the unique “Asia in the Eyes of Europe” research project. The briefings were organised by ASEF and its consortium of partners, and hosted by Tsinghua University (Beijing), Fudan University, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany (Shanghai) and Waseda University (Tokyo).
The briefings analysed the outcomes of two large scale research projects, ‘Asia in the Eyes of Europe’ and the ‘EU Through the Eyes of Asia’ study of media, public and opinion leader perceptions. Covering 8 EU member countries – namely Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom – the Asia in the Eyes of Europe project has captured and analysed over 2,700 news items, interviewed over 100 top media professionals, and conducted a survey of over 6,000 respondents to develop a unique understanding of how Europeans perceive Asia.
The study shines a very important light into how Europeans see Asia through various lenses; be it the spontaneous imagery conjuring images of a mythical, vast and cultural rich Asia; to the prominent Asian countries that define Asia; right through to how Asia is reported and framed in news media across Europe.
The ‘EU through the Eyes of Asia’ project offers a mirror view of the perceptions of the EU in 10 Asia ASEM members, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Thailand. The project has collected over 6,000 news items, 7,000 public opinion surveys and nearly 200 elite interviews to paint a very detailed and multilayered image of the perception of the EU. The research, carried out in 2011 and 2012, offers a very insightful view into the perceptions of the EU during the sovereign debt crisis and the post-Lisbon treaty era of the EUs external relations.
The briefings helped to add in depth insight into the current state of Asia-EU relations in this era of growing economic uncertainty and shifting global power.