The EU, the Quartet and the worry about China

According to the draft, the EU is committed to pursuing trade and investment relationships with partners with which it does not have an agreement in the region. Notably, the EU will explore the possibility of negotiating a new digital partnership agreement with Japan, South Korea and Singapore to strengthen cooperation in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), governance, etc. data value and data-driven innovation… The EU is also looking to strengthen the semiconductor value chain with its Asian partners after the Covid-19 pandemic raised concerns related to vulnerabilities in the supply chain. industry.

EU, the Quartet and worries about China - Photo 1.

The French frigate Prairie (right) during an exercise with US and Japanese warships in early 2021. Photo: JAPANESE SEA-Defense Forces (JMSDF)

Identifying China as central to the EU’s concerns, the draft warns that tensions over disputed territories and waters could “directly impact Europe’s security and prosperity”. Therefore, the EU plans to increase the number of warships to visit ports and conduct joint exercises with partners in the Indo-Pacific to protect freedom of navigation and combat piracy. The bloc will also consider designating certain areas of the Indo-Pacific as “maritime areas of interest” to facilitate the deployment of member states’ ships and aircraft there.

And yet, according to the document, the EU also expressed its desire to cooperate with the Quad (“Quad”, including the US, Australia, Japan, India) on issues of mutual concern, such as climate change, technology These are also important discussions when the leaders of the “Quad” group are expected to meet at the White House on September 24. This will be the first face-to-face summit of the “Quad” group, thereby showing President Joe Biden viewing the Indo-Pacific region, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on September 13. is a foreign policy priority as Washington responds to the challenges of the twenty-first century through new multilateral mechanisms. Efforts to counter China’s expansion of influence in the region will certainly be an important topic of discussion at the upcoming meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Cao Luc

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