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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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    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

    With India struggling to meet its domestic energy demands, the country is now engaging in a more active – and more overt – form of energy diplomacy. What challenges face the rising giant in pursuit of this strategy, and how will it reconcile development goals with climate change concerns in a region that continues to suffer from a lack of integration?

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    10 January 2014

    The recent elections in Bangladesh and their accompanying turmoil has lain bare the extent to which the two most powerful political dynasties are splitting the country. Can Bangladesh’s battling ‘begums’ now be convinced to put their differences aside in order to overcome the paralysing political stalemate?

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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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    29 November 2013

    This brief analyses what impact the five BRICS countries are likely to have in global politics in the years to come, and what future trajectory the grouping might take. The BRICS ‘club’ may or may not last – in its present or another formation – but its rise is a wake-up call for the EU to deepen its bilateral relations with individual BRICS and possibly reconsider its own position in the emerging system of global governance.

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