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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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    18May 2016

    With Singapore facilitating greater dialogue between ASEAN and China, what are the prospects for regional stability in South-East Asia? And can the city-state sustain its role as an honest broker given its long-standing security ties with the US?

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    18May 2016

    The third in a mini-series looking at China’s rise from the perspective of Asian countries, this Alert examines the stance of the Republic of Korea (ROK). Beyond economics, what now binds Beijing and Seoul?

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    13May 2016

    Until now, Chinese and Australian cooperation has largely been a mutually beneficial economic endeavour. However, the nature of this partnership is changing as China rises on the global stage. What do policymakers in Canberra hope for? And what do they fear?

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    13May 2016

    The international community continues to put pressure on Pyongyang with the aim of quickly restarting the negotiations over the DPRK's nuclear agenda. Whether or not sanctions will succeed, however, depends on how well the restrictions are implemented.

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    01April 2016

    China’s army-centric military structure – based on a 1950’s Soviet model – had long mismatched the country’s status as world’s second largest economy. This Alert looks at how the push for military reforms reflects Beijing’s changing domestic and regional priorities.

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    01April 2016

    Beyond the exchange of raw materials for manufactured goods, China’s and India’s relations with the African continent are slowly gaining traction, particularly in the security sphere. But upholding relations with heavyweight OECD partners like the EU remains fundamental for Africa’s economic diversification, as well as democratic consolidation.

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    30March 2016

    This Brief assesses India’s hegemonic role in its immediate neighbourhood. Can New Delhi assuage worries of its neighbours about its dominance? And what steps have been taken by Prime Minister Modi towards greater regional integration?

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    12February 2016

    This Alert examines the speeches and public declarations of new President Tsai Ing-wen following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) 2016 electoral victory, in the bid to discern Taiwan’s upcoming domestic and foreign policy orientations.

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    14January 2016

    China’s global activism is reaching new heights under President Xi Jinping’s leadership. Beijing is hoping to exert itself as a new multilateral leader by venturing into previously unchartered realms such as cybersecurity. The question is, how will China pursue its new ambitions?

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    14January 2016

    The EU is the largest contributor to the ASEAN Secretariat and the bi-regional relationship now goes beyond trade and institutional capacity-building. As a result, forging a more institutionalised EU-ASEAN ‘strategic partnership’ in 2016 appears not only the easiest, but also the most logical choice for both parties.

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    23January 2015

    The final instalment in the trio of Alerts dealing with Central Asia, this publication tackles the regional issues facing Beijing. What vision does China have for the countries on its western frontiers? Ones which were previously considered to be in Russia's backyard.

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    21January 2015

    The second in a series of publications examining Central Asia, this Alert looks at how India, Afghanistan and Pakistan perceive the countries in the region.

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    16January 2015

    The first in a series of publications focusing on Central Asia, this Alert takes a glance at the region from the perspective of decision-makers in the Kremlin.

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    19December 2014

    A collaborative project by the entire EUISS research team, this Chaillot Paper analyses changes in the contemporary global environment according to eight distinct but interconnected perspectives. The publication aims to offer a comprehensive background analysis to the policy debates that will inform the drafting of the Report on the international geopolitical environment that the High Representative is due to present in 2015.

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    21November 2014

    With a new national unity government headed by President Ashraf Ghani in place in Kabul, this Alert looks at the prospects for the country in a changing political and security environment that is likely to be marked by greater activism on the part of the Afghanistan’s neighbours in the future.

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    28October 2014

    If Myanmar today is on the path towards democratic transition, it is also due to the involvement of the European Union. This Brief maps the EU’s efforts to support the peace process in the country, highlighting how it is an original and efficient example of preventive diplomacy in action.

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    30September 2014

    This Alert analyses the implications of the Union’s recent formalisation of security cooperation with South Korea. Aside from obvious practical benefits, what symbolic value does it have for both partners in their attempts to gain greater recognition as security actors?

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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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