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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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    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

    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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    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?

  • 13May 2015

    On 11-12 May 2015 the EUISS and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) organised the Sixth EU-India Forum in Brussels.

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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?

  • 13March 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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    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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    19September 2014

    This Alert examines the outcome of the BRICS summit that took place in July, as well as the reluctance of individual BRICS to criticise Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Does the establishment of the New Development Bank herald an age of opposition to Western-dominated institutions and policies?

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    11July 2014

    This Alert seeks to highlight how the current political crisis has the potential to poison the legacy of the international community in the country, as well as undermine future international commitments.

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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?

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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.

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