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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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  • 20November 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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    07October 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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    24July 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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    09July 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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    09July 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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    09July 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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    26June 2015

    Much like the European Union, several ASEAN countries are now facing a migrant boat crisis. But mindsets and attitudes towards the issue differ markedly. What are the root causes of the plight of the Rohingya? And what obstacles are there to addressing their suffering in a comprehensive manner at a regional level?

  • 18June 2015

    Jointly organised with the Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), and supported by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EEAS, the second conference on the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative (NAPCI) and the European experience took place on 18-19 June in Brussels.

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    05June 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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    05June 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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    24January 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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    17January 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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    10January 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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    10January 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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    10January 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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    29November 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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    15November 2013

    This alert examines how the relationship between the EU and Japan has evolved significantly over the past two decades. It highlights how a more comprehensive partnership – going beyond trade and investment – is something that is now sought by both sides, particularly in the sphere of political and security cooperation.

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    11October 2013

    This Brief tracks the evolution of the Sino-European strategic partnership, exploring the highs and lows of a complex relationship that is now well placed to move beyond its economic foundations and potentially into the realm of politico-military affairs.

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    27September 2013

    This brief highlights the need to develop deeper bilateral relations with a country that is both strategically important and a hub in its own region. Can the EU really afford, as a whole, to engage only sporadically with the world’s largest Muslim country and third-largest democracy?

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    08July 2013

    As the twelfth year of military engagement in Afghanistan draws to a close, NATO troop numbers are set to be significantly reduced and reoriented to training Afghan forces rather than carrying out executive security functions. But how will international actors (including the EU) recalibrate their approach in order to ensure stability in both Afghanistan and the wider region?

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