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Asia

Over the last decade, the global economic and strategic balance has been shifting eastwards. Asia is the largest and the most populous continent, with China and India alone already accounting for one-third of the global population. Asia is home to some of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing economies, but also to some most complex security hotspots. From tensions on the Korean Peninsula to maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, there are a number of issues which have the potential to spark more serious conflict. The rise of China is affecting the balance of power in the region, and has resulted in increased competition with the US for influence. This is also increasingly visible in the Indian Ocean, which has become a new theatre of strategic competition between China and India. While there are various multilateral cooperative mechanisms in the region, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) or the East Asia Summit, their capacity to address such security issues remains limited.

As a key trading partner of many Asian economies, the EU has a major stake in regional stability, as well as in the security of its Sea Lanes of Communication. Since announcing its ‘pivot to Asia’ in 2012, Brussels has been trying to step up its security role in Asia by boosting cooperation with its various Strategic Partners, as well as through existing multilateral fora. The EUISS has been working to support these efforts by providing relevant expertise and analysis and conducting research in domains that have the potential to enhance regional stability and raise the EU’s security profile. Key areas of focus are maritime security and governance, preventive diplomacy, confidence and capacity building, crisis prevention, multilateralism, regional integration and institution building.

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    13 May 2016

    Until now, Chinese and Australian cooperation has largely been a mutually beneficial economic endeavour. However, the nature of this partnership is changing as China rises on the global stage. What do policymakers in Canberra hope for? And what do they fear?

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    01 April 2016

    China’s army-centric military structure – based on a 1950’s Soviet model – had long mismatched the country’s status as world’s second largest economy. This Alert looks at how the push for military reforms reflects Beijing’s changing domestic and regional priorities.

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    01 April 2016

    Beyond the exchange of raw materials for manufactured goods, China’s and India’s relations with the African continent are slowly gaining traction, particularly in the security sphere. But upholding relations with heavyweight OECD partners like the EU remains fundamental for Africa’s economic diversification, as well as democratic consolidation.

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    30 March 2016

    This Brief assesses India’s hegemonic role in its immediate neighbourhood. Can New Delhi assuage worries of its neighbours about its dominance? And what steps have been taken by Prime Minister Modi towards greater regional integration?

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    12 February 2016

    This Alert examines the speeches and public declarations of new President Tsai Ing-wen following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) 2016 electoral victory, in the bid to discern Taiwan’s upcoming domestic and foreign policy orientations.

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    14 January 2016

    China’s global activism is reaching new heights under President Xi Jinping’s leadership. Beijing is hoping to exert itself as a new multilateral leader by venturing into previously unchartered realms such as cybersecurity. The question is, how will China pursue its new ambitions?

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    14 January 2016

    The EU is the largest contributor to the ASEAN Secretariat and the bi-regional relationship now goes beyond trade and institutional capacity-building. As a result, forging a more institutionalised EU-ASEAN ‘strategic partnership’ in 2016 appears not only the easiest, but also the most logical choice for both parties.

  • 20 November 2015

    The CSCAP EU Committee held its third annual meeting in Brussels on Friday 20 November. The meeting was also included as part of the expert outreach and consultation process for the preparation of the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy.

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    07 October 2015

    This Alert examines China’s elaborate celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of its victory in the Pacific War. What do they reveal about Beijing’s military priorities? And perhaps more importantly, what do they indicate about the country’s domestic politics?

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    24 July 2015

    Beijing's foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific is based on the firm belief that its economic weight will eventually convert into political and strategic clout. This Alert examines how the creation of regional and global institutions has become a key objective to support this strategy.

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    05 June 2015

    This Brief explains how the shifting geo-strategic environment in Central Asia – marked by growing Chinese and Russian engagement, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and concerns over the rise of Islamic extremism – is also causing the EU and its member states to (re)assess both bilateral and regional relationships.

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    05 June 2015

    With the five BRICS countries continuing to expand and institutionalise their cooperation on key international issues in an attempt to further increase their global clout, this Brief takes a look at the EU’s response to their rise. Should the BRICS be treated individually or as a group by the Union?

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    29 May 2015

    With Japan boosting its international profile in an attempt to become a fully-fledged security actor, this Brief looks into its prospects for deepening cooperation with the EU in view of the upcoming 23rd EU-Japan Summit.

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    29 May 2015

    Despite their normative differences, how can the EU and China work together in order to make an effective contribution to the international fight against terrorism? And given that counter-terrorism is considered to be primarily a national competence, in which fields can the EU take the diplomatic initiative on behalf of its member states?

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    30 April 2015

    In the light of the country’s recent signing of a Framework Participation Agreement with the EU, and the upcoming White Paper on defence that Canberra is due to release before the end of the year, this Alert examines Australia’s record of security and defence cooperation with the Union and its posture as a security actor in the international arena.

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    09 April 2015

    This report explores the driving sources of tension in Northeast Asia’s three maritime disputes, focusing in particular on developments that have occurred since the late 2000s. At the same time, it examines the existing and emerging forms of maritime cooperation – in the form of various schemes for the joint development of resources in the region – so as to highlight the possible ways forward.

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    13 March 2015

    What progress has been made in Asia with regard to Search and Rescue (SAR) and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations since the aviation disasters of last year? Can anything positive emerge from the tragedies?

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    06 March 2015

    Since Xi Jinping came to power, China has been pursuing a more active foreign policy. With Beijing now expanding its ambitious infrastructure development plans to Europe and Central Asia, how could the EU shape a common approach based on its priorities in Asia?

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    06 March 2015

    This Brief highlights the importance of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as a political actor in its own right. However, China also has an effective system of civilian control over the armed forces, which works because they are thoroughly politicised.

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    23 January 2015

    The final instalment in the trio of Alerts dealing with Central Asia, this publication tackles the regional issues facing Beijing. What vision does China have for the countries on its western frontiers? Ones which were previously considered to be in Russia's backyard.

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