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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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    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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    09 July 2015

    Since Modi took office last year, India has embarked on a number of measures to encourage the development of the country’s economy and the streamlining of its indigenous defence capabilities. Is there a role for the EU in this process?

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    09 July 2015

    Rising powers can play a pivotal role in enhancing the multilateral sanctions regime against Iran. But their readiness to support the endeavours of the major sanctioning actors is not a given.

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    09 July 2015

    The sanctions against North Korea have been costly and technically difficult to implement. And since Pyongyang deems its nuclear programme to be essential for its national security (and therefore non-negotiable), their effectiveness in terms of non-proliferation has been limited.

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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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    21 January 2015

    The second in a series of publications examining Central Asia, this Alert looks at how India, Afghanistan and Pakistan perceive the countries in the region.

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    16 January 2015

    The first in a series of publications focusing on Central Asia, this Alert takes a glance at the region from the perspective of decision-makers in the Kremlin.

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    19 December 2014

    A collaborative project by the entire EUISS research team, this Chaillot Paper analyses changes in the contemporary global environment according to eight distinct but interconnected perspectives. The publication aims to offer a comprehensive background analysis to the policy debates that will inform the drafting of the Report on the international geopolitical environment that the High Representative is due to present in 2015.

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