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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.

For the recent EUISS mini podcast series on China, click here.

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    20June 2014

    With the need for security and stability in North-East Asia rarely having been more pressing than now, this Brief explores those initiatives – such as the NAPCI – that seek to overcome (or just manage and contain) regional divisions. Can the EU help close the "Pandora’s box" before it is too late?

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    20June 2014

    As skirmishes over sovereignty and boundary delimitations in the South China Sea continue, its rich marine natural environment and resources are suffering. This Alert stresses the need for good governance and cooperation at sea, highlighting the direct link between negative socio-economic impacts of environmental degradation, domestic stability and regional security.

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    16May 2014

    This Brief examines China’s attempts to recreate the ancient trade route and the rationale(s) behind the project. Is it simply a move to counter Russian influence or does Beijing also have real and tangible interests to defend in Central Asia?

  • 29April 2014

    On 29-30 April 2014 the EUISS and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), in cooperation with FRIDE, organised the Fifth EU-India Forum at Sapru House in New Delhi.

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    11April 2014

    The last in the series of EUISS alerts focusing on Afghanistan, this alert offers an assessment of the state of US-Afghan relations just after the first round of presidential elections. Given the continued uncertainty concerning the signing of Bilateral Security Agreement and the changing strategic priorities of the US, what form will future relations between the two countries take?

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    04April 2014

    The visit last week of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Brussels was a clear recognition of the Union’s growing political importance for Asian power. This alert explores the complexities of the EU-China political partnership, and shows how the relationship has developed well beyond its economic foundations.

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    28March 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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    28March 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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    21March 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.

  • 19March 2014

    The first meeting of the CSCAP EU full committee was held on 19 March in Brussels and was attended by nearly forty committee members: experts from various European think tanks, as well as officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) in a private capacitiy.

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    15February 2011

    Recent security developments in East Asia have raised questions about peace and stability in a part of the world accounting for over a quarter of EU global trade. This Policy Brief assesses the changing power relations in East Asia and highlights potential implications of the region's security flashpoints for the EU.

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    18January 2011

    In this quarter's issue, The Economist's Anton La Guardia proposes a unique role for the EU in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Nicola Casarini says the EU should get more involved in East Asia, and Álvaro de Vasconcelos forwards the case for better preventing conflict.

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    09November 2010

    Is there an Asian approach to peacebuilding? In this paper, the author explores what characterises the Asian approach while aiming to discern to what extent Western-dominated mainstream views of peacebuilding are applicable to Asian countries.

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    30September 2010

    China has become a central player on the world stage. Understanding the future direction of its foreign policy and the role it will play in international affairs is becoming increasingly important. Zhu Liqun, Vice-President of the China Foreign Affairs University, provides an in-depth and authoritative examination of China’s foreign policy debate and offers concrete examples of changes in attitude among China’s elite.

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    09November 2009

    In Indonesia, on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Helga Schmid was reminded of its impact on Asia, where many of the success stories of the post-1989 world can be found.

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    04November 2009

    'The Obama Moment' provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. Will the election of Obama facilitate enhanced transatlantic co-operation in dealing with these and other challenges?

  • 19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    09October 2009

    In this paper, the author argues that it is high time for the European Union to adopt a proactive policy of managing the risks of sensitive technology transfer to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On the basis of a common understanding of the challenges of transferring dual-use technology, economically, politically and security-wise, the European Union can optimise benefits from opportunities available in the promising and technologically rapidly advancing Chinese market.

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    01April 2009

    The EU engages in aspects of security sector reform through EUPOL Afghanistan, the police mission launched in 2007, and through the European Commission’s contributions to justice reform in the country. Based on an analysis of past efforts at police reform by the EU and other European and international actors, this paper identifies a set of internal and external coordination challenges that hamper mission success.

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    16March 2009

    This paper looks at the emerging geopolitical situation in the Eurasian coastal zone, concentrating on the geostrategic activities of China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. This zone, it argues, is both critically important for the EU in terms of shipping for manufactured goods and energy supplies, and likely to experience great power competition and general disorder over the coming decades.

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