The European Union has represented its Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at expanding its influence in the Indo-Pacific region during the coming years. According to EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, the economic, demographic, and political weight of the Indo-Pacific region is expanding, from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific island states and EU intends to offer a strengthened partnership to advance trade, investment, and connectivity, while addressing common global challenges and reinforcing the rules-based international order. The EU President claimed that this offer is motivated by the EU’s values, principles, including a commitment to respecting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
The high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Police, Mr. Jesop Borrell, said that the Indo-Pacific region is becoming increasingly important for the European Union due to growing economic, political, and demographic opportunities. According to Borrell, currently the EU and the Indo-Pacific region account for about 70% of world trade and 60% of world capital flows. While discussing EU’s potential cooperation with the countries in the region, he noted seven main priority areas including promoting sustainable and inclusive prosperity, ensuring a green transition, improving ocean resource management, digital cooperation, infrastructure development, defense, and security, and improving individual human security. While responding to a media query regarding connection of proposed EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy and containment of China, Borrell claimed that the European Union seeks cooperation, not containment or opposition.
While shedding light on the main contours of the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy, Borrell said that EU will negotiate with Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Maldives, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore in the east, and East African Community, Caribbean, and Pacific States on other end to forge relationship in multiple fields. While hitting the core objective of the EU’s fascinating strategy, Borrell observed that the EU would explore ways to ensure enhanced naval deployments by EU Member States to help protect the sea lines of communication and freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific. In fact, EU has offered a package of honey and wine to the regional countries, in a bid to use them for its hidden motive of entanglement with aggressive China. However, the time would reveal how many nations will fall into the trap of this free of cost party.