Oct 2, 2021
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The European Union rushes to Asia and Oceania

Western pattern of “rules-based international order”

The European Commission has published a Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region, in which the spirit of neo-colonialism is felt. The document says that the future of the EU and the Indo-Pacific region is inextricably linked.

This region includes seven members of the “twenty” (G20) – China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is home to three-fifths of the world’s population and produces 60% of the world’s GDP.

Already in the first paragraph of the new EU Strategy, there is a “green agenda”: “The Indo-Pacific region’s share of global carbon dioxide emissions has grown from 37% to 57% since 2000 and will account for more than 70% of the growth in global energy demand by 2030. Climate change is expected to further increase pressure on marine biodiversity, natural resources and fish stocks … The Indo-Pacific region includes a number of marine biodiversity hotspots such as the Coral Triangle, which accounts for 76% of the world’s coral species and supports 120 million people living in the area. The South China Sea alone accounts for about 12% of the world’s fish catch and more than half of the world’s fishing vessels are located there. Therefore, the region is vital to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect the fragile ecological balance of our planet. “

And then comes the attack on China. “In recent years, geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region has led to increased competition, including tensions over disputed territories and maritime zones. There has been a significant buildup of military power, including by China, with the Indo-Pacific region’s share of global military spending increasing from 20% of the global total in 2009 to 28% in 2019. Demonstrations of strength and heightened tensions in regional hot spots such as the South and East of the China Sea and the Taiwan Strait can have a direct impact on European security and prosperity. There is an increase in hybrid threats, including in the field of cybersecurity.

Democratic principles and human rights are also under threat from authoritarian regimes in the region. Efforts to create a global level playing field based on transparent trade rules are increasingly undermined by unfair trade practices and economic coercion … ”.

EU strategists, copying the phraseology of Washington, declare their intention “Promote a rules-based international order”… Brussels intends (at the level of rhetoric):

– to strengthen and defend an international order based on shared values ​​and principles, including a commitment to respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law;

– to promote a level playing field and an open, fair environment for trade and investment;

– contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals, solving the problems of climate change;

– participate in bilateral and multilateral cooperation with partners to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity;

– maintain cooperation, taking into account the views of civil society, the private sector, social partners and other key stakeholders;

– participate in the development [Индо-Тихоокеанского] region as a partner in our efforts to raise awareness of the impact of global demographic trends.

If we take the experience of the European Union concluding multilateral agreements, the practical implementation of the new Strategy will focus on tariff regulation for goods and services, including the General Scheme of Preferences, which is valid for a number of countries. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are already cooperating with the EU within the framework of the GSP + agreement (which focuses on sustainable development).

The European Union also intends to conclude trade deals with Australia, New Zealand and India. Negotiations have already begun.

In the summer, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe established initiatives Global Europe, which has a pronounced environmental agenda and fits into the geography of the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the EU is going to conclude digital partnership agreements with Japan, South Korea and Singapore, extending this model to other countries.

In the field of education, the Erasmus + program will be applied. In the field of security, the experience of the navies of the EU countries in various missions (program EU NAVFOR) will be expanded from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The European presence in the South Pacific will be consolidated under the guise of fighting pirates, smugglers and drug trafficking. There is also a project in the EU “Cooperation to improve security in Asia and with Asia (Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia, ESIWA)”where the main partners of the European Union are India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. European military experts are already stationed in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea and Japan are listed in the new Strategy as “Countries with like thinking”that can be connected to the program Horizon europe… Japan and India are noted as important partners in establishing links with the entire Indo-Pacific region. Finally, it is said about the need “To explore ways to ensure expanded deployment of naval forces by EU member states to help protect sea lines of communication and freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific”

Since China practically does not appear among the partners specified in the new EU Strategy, it can be concluded that the European Union will strengthen its presence in Asia and Oceania as opposed to China. This is what the senior American partners of the European Union are imposing. “International order based on rules”

Photo: REUTERS / Johanna Geron

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