Brussels — The European Union resolved on Monday to strengthen its influence in the Indo-Pacific region, using areas from security to health to protect interests and counter China’s rising forces, but block. Claims that the strategy is not against Beijing.
The 27-member block, led by France, Germany and the Netherlands, who first set out ways to deepen relations with countries such as India, Japan and Australia, used early plans to oppose the spread of Beijing. I want to show you. Authoritarianism.
“The EU believes that it should strengthen its strategic focus, presence and actions in the Indo-Pacific based on democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the promotion of international law,” the EU Foreign Minister said in a statement. Said. Diplomats said the plan was not “anti-China.”
Following the 10-page document in September, the Foreign Minister will develop a more detailed strategy, agree at a video conference, and aim to work with “similar partners” to protect the fundamental rights of the Indo-Pacific region. He said he was.
The plan will increase the presence of security by improving the EU diplomatic profile on the Indo-Pacific issue, increasing EU personnel and regional investment, dispatching ships to the South China Sea and placing Europeans on Australian patrols. May mean. Not yet agreed.
Although not elaborating on China, the wording of the EU statement states that the United States in its approach to China amid concerns that Beijing is pursuing technological and military modernization that threatens Western and Asian trading partners. It is a code to support.
EU diplomats say Indo-Pacific countries want the EU to actively maintain trade in the region and avoid facing the conflicting choice between Beijing and Washington. I am.
The EU statement, following a similar plan by the former EU member state Britain, said Europe’s attitude towards security crackdowns in Hong Kong, treatment of Uighur Muslims, and the first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in China. Will be brought to China as it solidifies.
“The EU will further develop partnerships and synergies with like-minded partners and affiliates in security and defense,” the EU statement said.
“This includes responding to international security challenges, including maritime security.”
It is unclear how far the EU is trying to ensure security. The block is hungry for new trade and believes the Indo-Pacific offers potential.
It states a commitment to seek free trade agreements with Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned that the EU would be missing after China and other Asia-Pacific countries signed an agreement that could become the world’s largest free trade agreement from 2022.
EU documents also state that Brock wants to sign an investment agreement with China, which both sides agreed in principle in late 2020.