from our reporter
BRUSSELS – Just hours after announcing an agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to counter Chinese influence in the East, the European Commission on Thursday presented a new strategy to better strengthen the European presence in the Indo-Pacific. On this occasion, the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said that the Anglo-Saxon initiative is a new incentive on the EU side to strengthen itself in the defense sector.
The new community strategy in the Indo-Pacific region is the first step in a project called the Global Gateway through which the 27 want to sign international agreements that go beyond trade. The action plan foresees strengthening production chains, new partnerships in the environmental and digital fields, new agreements in maritime safety, and special efforts to improve connectivity. The goal is to respond to the Chinese Silk Road. In the digital sphere, for example, the first agreements will be negotiated in the Indo-Pacific with Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Agreements will be drawn up in the environmental field with countries that share a community approach in this field. Officially, in the strategy just presented, China remains a partner among many, but between the lines appears the desire to strengthen cooperation, especially with Japan, Australia, India and Taiwan. For Parliament, the European Commission noted that military spending in India-Pacific region rose to 28% of the global total in 2019, from 20% in 2009.
“Given the importance of a large European naval presence in the Indo-Pacific, the European Union will consider ways to ensure greater maritime deployment by its member states in the region,” the document reads. Brussels intends to nurture new ties with other regions of the world as well, as explained by Community Executive Chair Ursula von der Leyen last Wednesday. The attempt to multiply European influence and strengthen international relations on the basis of rules and law. Also on Thursday, September 16, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis argued in Geneva that the WTO should be relaunched.
The announcement by the three Anglo-Saxon nations, on Wednesday and Thursday night, came as a surprise here in Brussels, admitted European Commission spokesman Peter Stano. The European Union “has not been informed of the initiative and we are in contact with the three countries to better take action on this new alliance.” After that, the spokesman added that in the coming days, “the situation and the repercussions of this agreement will be analyzed.”
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