1. Principles of EU’s Asia Policy:
    • Rules-Based Order: The EU promotes a rules-based international order grounded in shared values, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
    • Inclusive Cooperation: The EU engages in long-term, principled multilateral cooperation with Asian partners.
    • Commitment to Democracy: The EU advocates for resilient forms of democracy and democratic governance in the region.
    • Respect for Human Rights: Upholding human rights is a fundamental principle in EU-Asia relations.
  2. Parameters for Review:
    • China Relations: Managing the EU’s relationship with an assertive China using a multifaceted approach.
    • Strategic Partnerships: Deepening ties with strategic partners such as India, Japan, South Korea, and ASEAN.
    • Indo-Pacific Focus: Reinforcing the EU’s presence and actions in the Indo-Pacific.
    • Afghanistan Support: Continuing partnership and support for the Afghan people.
    • Engagement with DPRK: Maintaining critical engagement with North Korea.
    • Rohingya Crisis: Addressing root causes and facilitating the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
    • Connectivity: Building sustainable transport, digital, energy, and people-to-people networks between Europe and Asia.
  3. From Asia-Pacific to Asia Strategy:
    • Shift in Focus: Transitioning from a broader Asia-Pacific strategy to a more targeted Asia strategy.
    • Reasons for Shift:
      • Geopolitical Dynamics: Rising challenges and tensions in the Indo-Pacific.
      • Trade and Supply Chains: Ensuring stability amid trade tensions and supply chain disruptions.
      • Security Concerns: Addressing security threats in the region.
    • Ensuring EU’s Role:
      • Principled Engagement: The EU’s commitment to shared values and multilateral cooperation remains unchanged.
      • Long-Term Approach: Sustained engagement for stability, security, and prosperity.
      • Human Security: Prioritizing the well-being of people in the region.

In summary, the EU’s Asia strategy emphasizes cooperation, stability, and adherence to democratic principles. By focusing on Asia and the Indo-Pacific and maintaining a principled approach, the EU aims to be a force for positive change in Asia’s growth and stability.

The European Union (EU) maintains a multifaceted engagement with China, focusing on both trade and security matters. Let’s delve into the specifics:

  1. Trade Relations:
    • Open Trading Relations: The EU is committed to open trade with China.
    • Expectations from China:
      • Fair Trade Practices: China is expected to adhere to fair trade practices.
      • Intellectual Property Rights: Respect for intellectual property rights.
      • WTO Obligations: Fulfill its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
    • Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI):
      • Negotiated in 2020, the CAI aims to grant EU investors greater access to China’s market.
      • Not yet ratified or in force.
      • Covers market access, state-owned enterprises, subsidies, and technology transfer.
      • Sets high standards for transparency and sustainable development.
      • EU continues work on autonomous measures related to subsidies and due diligence.
  2. Security and Human Rights:
    • Human Rights Dialogue: The EU resumed the Human Rights Dialogue with China in 2023.
    • One China Policy: The EU reaffirms its consistent One China policy.
    • Taiwan Strait Tensions: The EU expresses concerns about increased tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
  3. Long-Term Bilateral Relations:
    • Investment Agreement: The EU-China Investment Agreement ensures fairer treatment for EU companies in China.
    • Transparency and Level Playing Field: Commitments cover state-owned enterprises, subsidies, and technology transfer.
    • Sustainable Development: Provisions address climate and forced labor.

In summary, the EU engages with China through principled trade relations, investment agreements, and dialogues on human rights and security. Balancing economic interests with values remains a priority for the EU in its interactions with China.

EU’s Strategic Partnerships with Japan, India, and South Korea:

  1. Japan:
    • Drivers and Outcomes:
      • Geopolitical Interests: Shared commitment to a rules-based international order.
      • Economic Cooperation: Collaboration on trade, investment, and technology.
      • Security Cooperation: Joint naval exercises, counter-terrorism efforts.
    • Limitations: Geopolitical value remains modest in the Asia-Pacific context.
    • Example: EU-Japan cooperation in Operation Atalanta near the Horn of Africa.
  2. India:
    • Drivers and Outcomes:
      • Strategic Partnership: Strengthening economic ties and addressing global challenges.
      • Digital Cooperation: Enhancing digital collaboration and sustainable extraction of raw materials.
    • Limitations: Geopolitical impact still primarily economic.
    • Example: EU-India Digital Partnership Agreement.
  3. South Korea:

Way Forward:

  1. Conclusion of SPA and EPA:
    • Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA):
      • Strengthen political dialogue, security cooperation, and economic ties.
      • Address shared challenges such as climate change and terrorism.
    • Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA):
      • Facilitate trade, investment, and sustainable development.
      • Enhance connectivity and supply chains.
  2. Role of ASEM Framework:
  3. Strengthening ASEM:
    • Policy Ideas: Foster exchange of ideas and best practices.
    • Smart Security Enabler: Use advanced member state capabilities to build partners’ capacities.
    • Economic Cooperation: Collaborate on sustainable raw material extraction and digital technologies.

Relevance of Other Multilateral Frameworks:

  • ASEAN: EU’s strategic partnership with ASEAN enhances security cooperation and economic ties.
  • SAARC: Cooperation with South Asian countries on regional stability and development.
  • Other Bilateral and Regional Agreements: EU’s engagement with China, Russia, and other Asian partners.

In summary, the EU’s strategic partnerships with Japan, India, and South Korea are vital for stability, economic growth, and addressing global challenges. Strengthening ASEM and other multilateral frameworks ensures a cooperative and rules-based international system.