Europe - East Asia

While Europe has long been an important economic power in the Asia Pacific, its political profile until recently has been rather weak. In recent months, however, Europe has taken important steps to strengthen its political involvement in the region, notably on the Korean Peninsula. This more active stance reflects progress in efforts to make European foreign policies more coherent and effective through a strengthening of the European Union’s “Common Foreign and Security Policy,” including the appointment of a high representative for foreign relations. Europe’s increasing influence in the Asia Pacific can also be felt economically, as Europe’s negotiations with Beijing over China’s WTO membership have made clear. Still, in keeping with its peculiar characteristics as a “composite” international actor and its rather modest self-defined role in the Asia Pacific, Europe’s political influence in the region remains that of an important subsidiary player, rather than of a great power. On the whole, Europe’s modest but gradually growing involvement has been constructive and welcome.

Daily Digest

The Diplomat: Pacific Partnership 2019 Search and Rescue Exercise Comes to the Marshall Islands

US demonstrates commitment to security cooperation with Pacific Island states through Pacific Partnership exercise with the Marshall Islands.

The Diplomat: Are the US and China About to Face-Off Over American Fighter Sales to Taiwan?

An assessment of the implications if the US goes through with the sale of fighter aircraft to Taiwan.

The Diplomat: India-Indonesia Naval Patrols Highlights Maritime Collaboration

A reminder of the growing defense relationship between India and Indonesia.

The Diplomat: Japan Should Stop Acting Like China in Cambodia

Calling out Japan for ignoring Cambodia’s human rights abuses.

The Diplomat: China’s Weaponization of Market Access Might Backfire

An explanation of the risks associated with China’s decision to restrict market access of Canadian traders as retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou.

The Strategist: The ‘regime security dilemma’ in US–China relations

An argument for why the sustainability of the Chinese Communist Party plays a significant role in shaping the US-China rivalry.

East Asia Forum: Realising smart cities in ASEAN

Growing pains associated with “Smart Cities” initiative in Southeast Asia.

The Diplomat: Sri Lanka Will Get a $3.9 Billion Refinery Next to China-Run Hambantota Port

Could Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port become a case of “build it and they will come”?

South China Morning Post: To reclaim Philippines from Beijing’s grasp, US must look beyond the South China Sea

An argument for why the US needs to go beyond security assurances and address economic relations with the Philippines.

The Diplomat: How Can Indonesia Take Advantage of the Belt and Road’s Opportunities?

Analysts explore ways that Indonesia can take advantage of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.