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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 March 2015

    On 13 March, the EUISS and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) held their annual exchange of views in Beijing.

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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.

  • 30 January 2015

    On 30 January 2015 the EUISS, in cooperation with the Latvian EU Presidency and the Institute for European Politics in Berlin, organised a conference on EU-Central Asia relations.

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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.

  • 19 January 2015

    On 19 January 2015 the European Union Institute for Security Studies organised a brainstorming workshop on Central Asia in cooperation with the Institut für Europäische Politik which took place in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

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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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    21 November 2014

    With a new national unity government headed by President Ashraf Ghani in place in Kabul, this Alert looks at the prospects for the country in a changing political and security environment that is likely to be marked by greater activism on the part of the Afghanistan’s neighbours in the future.

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    28 March 2014

    This Alert assesses Iran’s strategic aims in Afghanistan, highlighting how – despite Tehran’s primary goal of achieving stability in the country based on economic development – Iran often acts as a spoiler in the pursuit of protecting its own security interests in its immediate neighbourhood.

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    28 March 2014

    Following the rise of China’s economy and subsequent discussions on the efficient use of resources, this Brief examines how China is seeking to manage its growing import dependency through diversification. With the EU and China becoming the world’s two most important energy importers, what effect will this have on the global energy markets?

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    21 March 2014

    At a time of heightened tensions in East Asia – largely the result of competing territorial claims – this Alert seeks to highlight the importance of multilateral platforms and various informal mechanisms (‘track-two’ diplomacy) in maintaining stability and managing potential crises in the region.

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    14 March 2014

    This Alert explores the international crisis in Crimea from China’s perspective. While it is clear that China disapproves of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine at several levels, Chinese interests in eastern Europe remain too small for Beijing to take an open and vocal stance – at least for now.

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    21 February 2014

    This alert takes a closer look at the fraught and controversial ties between Afghanistan and its immediate neighbour to the east. How can these countries transcend the dominance of the security dimension underpinning their historical relationship that has had unintended – and deadly – consequences for both?

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    07 February 2014

    The third in a series of EUISS Alerts focusing on the prospects for Afghanistan in 2014, this Alert evaluates Russia’s current policy towards Afghanistan and how it may evolve in the future. In particular, it shows that Russia’s overall approach is still mainly determined by issues relating to America’s military presence there rather than by its bilateral relations with Kabul.

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    30 January 2014

    The countries of Central Asia face a multitude of security challenges ranging from rising ethnic tensions to widespread corruption. This alert provides an overview of the major trends in a vital region which is all too often overlooked.

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    24 January 2014

    The second in a series of EUISS alerts examining the future of Afghanistan, this alert digs deeper into the political and economic ties that bind Afghanistan and China. How can the Asian giant now contribute to the future stability of the volatile country?

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    17 January 2014

    In the light of Japan’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy (NSS), this brief examines how the country’s security and defence policy is evolving in response to a changing security environment. The country’s new national security doctrine is driven by a strong perception of a shifting balance of power at the global level as well as an acute awareness of regional challenges and in particular the need to protect the nation’s maritime interests.

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    10 January 2014

    The first EUISS alert of 2014 explores the deepening bilateral relationship between India and Afghanistan. But given long-standing regional tensions and suspicions, what role is there for South Asia's dominant power in supporting a post-transition Afghanistan?

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