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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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    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?

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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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    29May 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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    29May 2015

    With Japan boosting its international profile in an attempt to become a fully-fledged security actor, this Brief looks into its prospects for deepening cooperation with the EU in view of the upcoming 23rd EU-Japan Summit.

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    30April 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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    09April 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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    13March 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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    06March 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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    06March 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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