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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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    15February 2017

    Four years after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the ‘New Silk Road’ initiative in 2013, the main thrust of the infrastructure projects has been in Asia. However, the Western Balkans is also becoming increasingly involved in related discussions and projects on its western end.

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    15February 2017

    This Chaillot Paper sets out to evaluate the scope and the actual implementation of the ‘pivot to the East’ announced by Moscow in the wake of its confrontation with the West over Ukraine. The paper highlights the areas of convergence and divergence between Moscow and Beijing, the asymmetries in interests and resources, and their wider implications for Russia’s policy in Asia – thus providing an insightful and balanced assessment of bilateral relations and their ‘systemic’ impact.

  • 15February 2017

    The second meeting of the 'Chinese Futures Task Force' looked into the drivers of China’s foreign and security policy in Asia.

  • 15December 2016

    The inaugural meeting of the 'Chinese Futures Task Force' focused on the evolution of China’s domestic political environment by the horizon of 2025.

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    09December 2016

    In summer 2016, two unexpected events brought the issue of power transition to the top of the agenda in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. This Alert analyses how both transitions entail risks for Central Asia’s stability, but also potentially open up opportunities for further domestic liberalisation and regional cooperation.

  • 02December 2016

    On Friday, 2 December, the CSCAP EU Committee convened for its fourth annual meeting in Brussels. Following a briefing from EEAS officials on recent developments related to EU policy in Asia and a progress report on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, the Committee held several workshop sessions on the EU’s preventive diplomacy in Asia.

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    24November 2016

    China is increasingly engaged in a combination of investments and infrastructure development, forum-building and political messaging around the world with various sub-regional groupings of countries. Could this potentially challenge the role of the EU in Europe in the long term?

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    24November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

  • 18November 2016

    On 18 November 2016, the EUISS, in collaboration with the China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), hosted the EU-China Strategic Dialogue in Brussels.

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    09November 2016

    This report is the result of a closed-door workshop and a public conference on 'Prospects for EU–India Security Cooperation' held in September 2016 in New Delhi by Chatham House, the EU Institute for Security Studies, and the Observer Research Foundation. It explores the scope for EU-India engagement on three major security issues: West Asia (Middle East), maritime security, and counter-terrorism and radicalisation.

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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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    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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