Tag Archives: European

Asian partnerships offer double-hedge for European Grand Strategy

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From Wall Street Journal article “China Sees Itself at Center of New Asian Order”, 9 November 2024 (click for link)

There is a lot of thought going into the need for Europe to have a grand strategy. Some of it is very good (link). Here is a simple suggestion:

A: What do Europeans want? Safety and prosperity.

B: Europe’s only real security threat? Russia. The main driver of global prosperity? Asia, centred on China.

C: So Europe should (i) partner with China on trade to build a strategic hedge against Russia, and (ii) partner with Indo-Pacific powers to insure against dependence on China.

What would that look like?

(i) Partner with China to balance Russia. China is countering the US Pivot with its two silk roads (link, link), and cooperating with this plan represents a golden opportunity for Europe to kill two birds with one stone. First, it offers a way to lock in trade interdependence with China. Second, it offers a basis for strategic cooperation that will create a balance against Europe’s only major security threat – Russia. So Europe should pour diplomatic, economic resources into partnering with China to establish the silk road around Russia and to develop market and strategic opportunities in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East (link here for ideas). After all, since the whole purpose of the silk route is to connect China and Europe, this is the most natural basis for our common interest. The fact that it offers a chance to drive a wedge between China and Russia is a bonus in terms of European security (link).

(ii) Partner with Indo-Pacific powers to encourage peaceful growth in the region, and to insure against the risk of an all-powerful China becoming a threat to regional peace and global prosperity. While Europe wants a peaceful and prosperous relationship with China, it would not be in Europe’s longer term interests to see China turn East and South East Asia into a Sino-centric block. European prosperity is increasingly dependent on on the health not just of China’s economy, but of the economies of the whole Asian region. Currently the most likely source of conflict – and threat to continued prosperity – in Asia is rivalry in the maritime sphere. A quadrilateral alliance (made up of the United States, Japan, Australia and India) is already taking shape to prevent Chinese naval hegemony at sea. It helps that these countries  broadly share the same set of values as Europe. If China’s neighbours continue to feel intimidated, then this alliance will be supported by the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. No matter how far and how fast China rises, it would be futile to oppose such a coalition. If European diplomacy, technology and naval forces are put in the service of this coalition to support freedom of navigation and uphold UNCLOS then it will support the international order and prosperity in Asia, and provide a hedge against the possibility that China might be tempted to do anything that threatens global free trade and prosperity. Europe’s message to China should be ‘we welcome your return to great power status and want to trade with you, but we stand by the rules based order of international relations, and we will pay the price to uphold it’.

A more developed version of this idea was posted at the website European Geostrategy here:

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European military presence in Asia – Who Dares?

HMS Daring

HMS Daring

JDS Kashima passes Fort Blockhouse as she enters Portsmouth Harbour, July 2013

JDS Kashima passes Fort Blockhouse as she enters Portsmouth Harbour, July 2013

The must-read blog on UK defence ‘Thin Pinstripe Line‘ has details about the UK Royal Navy deployment way East of Suez this year:

Another Daring Deployment? Continue reading

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More on the European Pivot – EU Pivot exposed again

EU Pivot Asia 1Thanks to Michael Matthiessen, the EU Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore for another voice on the European Pivot to Asia (see some related posts from this blog here, here and here)

According to a recent study by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which tracked the perception of the EU in seven Asian countries, the EU is close to invisible. Michael Matthiessen explains that Asia is not invisible to the EU and it’s time to address this imbalance.

(First published in Global-is-Asian, Issue 15 (Oct-Dec 2012) by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS)

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Where is Asia in the European Foreign and Security Policy?

Should Europe enact its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)  in a mainly regional framework (and leave the rest for America), or should it adopt a global framework that includes Asia?

James Rogers noted  in early 2010 that:

The European Union’s current grand strategy is still in the making. But under Javier Solana’s tenure, it developed increasingly under the rubric of ‘global actor’ or ‘global power’. Many Europeans realised that the old ideas were no longer sufficient and that a new approach was needed. This meant that the European Union needed to acquire and maintain a military capability and engage in geopolitical engineering, especially around the European Neighbourhood. But this approach is limited by the different interests of the Member States and various well-meaning but nevertheless mistaken individuals who would like the European Union to become a ‘normative power’ or focus on something known as ‘human security’. So the ‘global power’ grand strategy is by no means here to stay – it could itself be dislocated by unfavourable events.

According to its (2003) European Security Strategy (EES) the position was clear – the scope would be global: Continue reading

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What is the Europe Asia Security Forum?

The Europe Asia Security Forum (EASF) is the blog accompanying the planned Euro Asia Security Institute, which will be a Brussels based policy and research think tank that aims to promote understanding and cooperation between Europe and Asia on security and defence issues.

The EASF exists to promote an exchange of views on security and defense issues of mutual interest to academic and professional communities in Europe and Asia. Its primary function is to provide a site where European perspectives on Asian security and defence issues can be expressed and shared for comment. The Forum also aims to provide Europeans with an opportunity to take on board Asian perspectives on European security and defence issues.

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