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

Yonhap News Agency – 4 Chinese, 4 Russian military planes enter S. Korea’s air defense zone without notice: S. Korean military

Four Chinese and four Russian military planes entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ) without notice Tuesday, Seoul’s military said, prompting the South Korean Air Force to send its fighter jets to the scene.

The Straits Times – US Secretary of State Blinken set to travel to Beijing for talks in coming weeks

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit China in the coming weeks for talks with top officials, possibly including President Xi Jinping, said people familiar with the matter, as the United States looks to resume high-level communication despite continued tensions.

Nikkei Asia – Japan plans security clearances similar to U.S. and Europe

Japan will introduce a security clearance system to vet government and private-sector workers with access to sensitive information related to economic security, to ensure that companies that work with dual-use advanced technology can compete internationally.

Asia Times – Germans the latest to help train China’s fighter pilots

Ex-NATO German fighter pilots paid handsomely by Beijing to share their expertise in Western aircraft, tactics and strategy.

Nikkei Asia – India, U.S. agree on ‘ambitious road map’ for defense industry ties

With an eye on China, India and the U.S. on Monday agreed on a “road map” for defense industry cooperation over “the next few years.”

Asia Times – BRICS currency gambit a timely warning to the buck

Recently concluded BRICS meeting in Cape Town may go down in history as the moment the anti-dollar movement came of age.