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65 - Comprehensive security and relations with Asia

Grade: B-
Unity 3/5
Resources 3/5
Strategy 3/5
Impact 3/5
Total 12/20

While Europe increased security cooperation with China, Japan, and South Korea, cooperation with India was lacking

A key success of EU engagement with China in 2015 was the nuclear deal with Iran. Beijing consistently supported the deal, remaining engaged with negotiations despite not being fully satisfied with certain aspects of the final agreement.

Meanwhile, the EU and China agreed to reinforce cooperation against transnational crime by increasing contacts between Europol and China’s Ministry of Public Security. China pushed to develop cooperation against terrorism with several member states, especially France following the November attacks. But this is controversial given China’s practice of linking terrorism with separatist movements in Xinjiang province. To her credit, Mogherini condemned China’s expulsion of a French journalist who had criticised government policy towards the Uyghur ethnic group in Xinjiang. But, as on other issues, the UK broke ranks, and its chancellor visited Xinjiang without mentioning the issue.

Oddly, the EU has no strategic dialogue with India, a major partner with an important stake in Afghanistan and similar views on it, a shared goal for reintegrating Iran, and concern over maritime security. There is a certain complacency over India in the Union, matched by India’s lack of interest in the EU. This contrasts with a robust European interest in weapons sales to India.

The EU increased its cooperation with South Korea and Japan in 2015, in the context of crisis-management operations. It also agreed to enhance political dialogue on foreign and security policy at ministerial level with Japan. In May, the second ASEAN–EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security included exchanges on piracy lessons, maritime surveillance, and port security, and produced agreements to enhance dialogue on disaster relief and promote capacity building.

The EU’s training to members of the ASEAN Regional Forum on preventive diplomacy and mediation, launched in 2014, was expanded in 2015. The EU committed to more than double its support for ASEAN’s institutional set-up and community building. The EU conducted dialogues on cyber-security with Japan and India, and held the 14th EU–North Korea political dialogue in Pyongyang in June.