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Research Report

Look East, Act East:: transatlantic agendas in the Asia Pacific

Edited by Patryk Pawlak
David Camroux
Nicola Casarini
Andrew S. Erickson
Richard Gowan
Daniel Keohane
Bernice Lee
Patryk Pawlak
Jonathan D. Pollack
Andrew Small
Peter Sparding
Austin Strange
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2012
Pages: 92
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-4)
    Antonio Missiroli

    Since this publication project was launched, several developments have occurred that have a bearing on the Asia-Pacific region. While the democratic transition in Burma/Myanmar has accelerated its pace and peace has made headway in Mindanao, bilateral tensions, territorial disputes and nationalism have flared up in the South and East China Seas – thankfully, without major consequences. The American presidential election has been followed by the Chinese leadership succession. The ASEM summit in Laos has marked its expansion to 51 members. And the US ‘rebalancing’ towards Asia has regained visibility and momentum – after losing some steam since the ‘pivot’ idea...

  2. (pp. 5-8)
    Patryk Pawlak and Eleni Ekmektsioglou

    We are pleased to present the final report prepared in the framework of the research project ‘Look East, Act East: transatlantic strategies in the Asia Pacific’ carried out at the EU Institute for Security Studies since January 2012. The aim of this project was to explore the possibilities for developing a more strategic EU involvement in Asia – both inside and outside the transatlantic partnership. To this end, the EUISS organised a series of meetings with policy makers, diplomats and members of the research community from Europe, the United States and Asia. We also conducted a survey which resulted in...

  3. (pp. 9-15)
    Peter Sparding and Andrew Small

    Trade and economic policy is the most natural area for cooperation between the United States and the European Union in Asia. As the largest economic powers in the world, and the region’s principal trading partners, the two sides still have substantial capacity to shape its emerging economic landscape. They also have very similar interests – and challenges – in dealing with the biggest economy in the region, China. Until recently, it was hard to identify a broader economic strategy in Asia for either side but with the launch of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU’s growing array of bilateral...

  4. (pp. 16-23)
    Bernice Lee

    Over the past two decades, emerging countries from Asia have doubled their share of global income and triggered fundamental changes in the patterns of consumption, production and trade across the world. The rising fortunes of the Asia-Pacific region have raised new fears about future resource security, especially vis-à-vis energy and other raw materials. In addition to the dramatic growth in demand for these resources from Asia over the past decade, these fears are exacerbated by the imposition of export controls to support domestic processing of raw materials, subsidise inputs for domestic industries or enforce price discipline among mineral exporters.Asia’s growing...

  5. (pp. 24-30)
    Richard Gowan

    Over the last five years, Asian governments have assumed an increasingly important role in global diplomacy. This is a significant change in the international system. For most of the first two post-Cold War decades, Asian powers played a limited role in multilateral affairs. China had a seat at the top table in the United Nations Security Council (although it typically adopted a low profile there through the 1990s) and Japan had a good track record as a constructive member of the G-8. But the US and its European allies remained the primary actors in both directing and reforming international organisations....

  6. (pp. 31-37)
    David Camroux and Patryk Pawlak

    The institutional aspects of regional integration processes in the Asia Pacific are currently unfolding along two parallel paths: trade and security. Indeed the nexus between the two and its impact on international relations, both multilateral and bilateral, is increasingly acknowledged.¹

    An increasing number of Free Trade Agreements are being concluded in the region which, in addition to generating growth, are also seen as having geopolitical and strategic objectives and as confidence-building measures that will lead to deepening regional integration in Asia. At the centre of this process in Southeast Asia is the ambition to create a three-pillared ASEAN Community by...

  7. (pp. 38-44)
    Andrew S. Erickson and Austin M. Strange

    Europe and the United States stand at a critical crossroads as regards their individual positions in the Asia Pacific, and the extent to which they might cooperate with respect to this region. Brussels and Washington, and the democratic polities that they represent, each strive to promote larger universal values, support international institutions and defend the postwar international system and global commons. Both welcome the success, security and prosperity of emerging powers in the Asia Pacific such as China, but also want to ensure that these nations act as stakeholders that build on the existing international system that both sides of...

  8. (pp. 45-50)
    Daniel Keohane

    The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, told an audience in London in May 2012 that ‘Europe is clearly not a Pacific power and will not become one’.¹ Three days later, the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told an audience in Singapore that ‘this area is indeed a strategic stake for France, which is and will remain a power in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.’² Thinking about the European Union’s role in East Asian security, most Europeans would probably agree with Herman Van Rompuy’s statement. As East Asian economies continue to grow rapidly, the Asia-Pacific region...

  9. (pp. 51-58)
    Jonathan D. Pollack

    China’s ascendance as a major power and its implications for the world economy, global governance and international security continues to be a source of major debate. The scope and rapidity of China’s ascent have placed China at the centre of deliberations over international strategy. There are few historical precedents for the spectacular pace of China’s economic advance, and the growth of its comprehensive national power has generated considerable unease. At the same time, by the acknowledgment of its senior leadership, China’s overall development remains ‘unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable.’¹ The extreme concentration of economic and political power in the hands of...

  10. (pp. 59-65)
    Nicola Casarini

    China is possibly the EU’s most ominous economic and trade challenge. At the same time, Beijing represents a formidable opportunity for many European companies as well as for EU aspirations to emerge as a global actor. The country continues to be viewed with suspicion across Europe due to the non-democratic nature of the Chinese regime, raising questions as to what use Chinese leaders will make of their country’s increased capabilities. Yet, it is precisely this authoritarian Communist China, informed by values and principles quite different from those of the EU and its Member States, that has come to support the...