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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?

  • 18June 2015

    Jointly organised with the Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), and supported by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EEAS, the second conference on the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative (NAPCI) and the European experience took place on 18-19 June in Brussels.

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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?

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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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    14March 2014

    This Alert explores the international crisis in Crimea from China’s perspective. While it is clear that China disapproves of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine at several levels, Chinese interests in eastern Europe remain too small for Beijing to take an open and vocal stance – at least for now.

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    21February 2014

    This alert takes a closer look at the fraught and controversial ties between Afghanistan and its immediate neighbour to the east. How can these countries transcend the dominance of the security dimension underpinning their historical relationship that has had unintended – and deadly – consequences for both?

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    07February 2014

    The third in a series of EUISS Alerts focusing on the prospects for Afghanistan in 2014, this Alert evaluates Russia’s current policy towards Afghanistan and how it may evolve in the future. In particular, it shows that Russia’s overall approach is still mainly determined by issues relating to America’s military presence there rather than by its bilateral relations with Kabul.

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    30January 2014

    The countries of Central Asia face a multitude of security challenges ranging from rising ethnic tensions to widespread corruption. This alert provides an overview of the major trends in a vital region which is all too often overlooked.

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    24January 2014

    The second in a series of EUISS alerts examining the future of Afghanistan, this alert digs deeper into the political and economic ties that bind Afghanistan and China. How can the Asian giant now contribute to the future stability of the volatile country?

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    17January 2014

    In the light of Japan’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy (NSS), this brief examines how the country’s security and defence policy is evolving in response to a changing security environment. The country’s new national security doctrine is driven by a strong perception of a shifting balance of power at the global level as well as an acute awareness of regional challenges and in particular the need to protect the nation’s maritime interests.

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