Asia is a region in flux. The rise of China and India, in addition to a host of foreign and security policy challenges, have increasingly led the EU to formulate a more political and strategic approach towards the region. In particular, contributing to a stable security environment is becoming increasingly important for the EU if it wishes to maintain its current socio-economic position.
In geopolitical terms, China’s sustained growth provides neighbouring countries with economic opportunities, but also with strategic challenges. Furthermore, Beijing’s defence modernisation has altered the security perceptions in the region, causing the US and its Asian allies to reassess their threat perceptions and defence strategies to varying degrees.
Growing Chinese assertiveness takes place outside of - and in potential opposition to - the US system of alliances which has so far guaranteed peace and stability in the region. The region’s policy makers are therefore increasingly looking for ways to accommodate these changing power relations in an environment still beset by competing nationalisms. Other security threats include the potential for conflict - including the risk of a nuclear confrontation - between India and Pakistan as well as between North and South Korea.
EU strategic and security interests include investing and supporting regional integration mechanisms (ASEAN, ASEM, SAARC); engaging with other emerging powers in South-East Asia and supporting post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan; securing Europe´s energy supply; and addressing state weakness as well as a cross-cutting concern with regards to strengthening the rule of law and human rights throughout the continent.
The EUISS pays particular attention to the evolving security and strategic dynamics in Asia and their potential effects on the EU. This includes the global implications of the rise of China and India; the security environment and international relations in East Asia, and Chinese foreign policy. The EUISS also researches the conflict in Afghanistan (and its regional dimensions) and South Asian security dynamics including the internal developments and foreign policies of India and Pakistan.