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Deciphering China in the Middle East

30 June 2020
Beijing’s new activism in the Middle East reflects the evolution of Chinese foreign policy thinking, in line with the country’s rise as an economic superpower. Economic goals rather than ideological considerations have become key criteria in China’s selection of partners in the region, especially those which can provide the energy resources necessary to fuel China’s continued dynamic growth. Although as yet China is not overtly seeking to displace the US as the dominant power in the region, its penetration of the Middle East inevitably has far-reaching foreign policy and security implications.

The Butterfly Effect: why does Eastern Europe matter to Japan?

27 May 2020
In recent years Japan has sought to rekindle diplomatic, political and economic ties with Eastern Europe. This Brief examines how Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 may have motivated this charm offensive, prompted by Tokyo’s fears that such aggression could potentially be replicated in the Far East, as well as by concerns about transfers of military technology from Eastern Europe to China and the weakening of the global non-proliferation regime. It shows how Japan’s foreign policy goals in the eastern neighbourhood overlap with those of the EU, and highlights the potential for strengthening synergies between them.

Arctic stress test

30 April 2020
In the three decades after the Cold War, the perception of ‘Arctic exceptionalism’, the sense that the Arctic region is immune from broader geopolitical tensions, prevailed. However, this notion is currently being challenged: climate change is accelerating the opening of new maritime trade routes and exploitation of natural resources in the region, while great power competition between the US, Russia and China in the Arctic is intensifying, changing regional power dynamics.

Russia's forays into sub-Saharan Africa

31 March 2020
Russia is mounting a remarkable political comeback in sub-Saharan Africa through a ‘low costs, high returns and visibility’ approach. Can a coherent strategy be discerned behind this push? And how is sub-Saharan Africa reacting to Russia’s overtures and what does it mean for the EU?

The EU as a maritime security provider

16 December 2019
Maritime security is one of the fundamental strategic interests of the European Union. This Brief focuses on the EU’s ambition to become a maritime security provider in the Indo-Pacific region and explores how might it go about accomplishing this. It shows how a more proactive European involvement in maritime security has the potential to boost ties with Asian countries, promote the Union’s foreign and security objectives in the region and enhance its strategic profile globally.

Resetting Ethiopia

08 October 2019
Strengthening the resilience of the Ethiopian state and preventing an escalation of political violence are two policy priorities in view of the 2020 elections. But how can conflict risks be mitigated? And can the ambitious reform agenda be reconciled with concrete local needs and ethnic grievances?

Connecting the dots: challenges to EU connectivity in Central Asia

03 June 2019
This Brief looks into connectivity-related challenges and how they relate to the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy and its vision of connectivity. It examines the legacy of Soviet connectivity, the significance of regional informal networks, as well as the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia’s Great Eurasian Partnership.

Along the Road – China in the Arctic

21 December 2018

The third in the EUISS connectivity series, this Brief focuses on China’s Polar Silk Road project, which officially incorporates the Arctic Ocean into Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, and examines what it reveals about China’s broader geopolitical ambitions in the region.

Along the road – Gwadar and China’s power projection

31 July 2018

Gwadar port is a flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The construction of the port near the Gulf of Hormuz gives China access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This Brief argues that the geostrategic dimension of the project far outweighs its economic potential, and that this will likely affect the regional balance of power. 

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