The EU wants to take on a bigger role in Asia

European Union leaders described Asia as a “theatre of tensions” last Thursday as the warned of the increasing assertiveness of China even as they called on Beijing to defend the multilateral global order.

This call for unity came at the EU-Japan summit in Tokyo that featured European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida a day after Beijing warned the summit not to “speak ill” of China.

The EU leaders and their counterparts said they would keep up talks on ways to maximise their partnership to tackle Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, in areas such as energy as well as aid, joining in a statement to call for the immediate cessation of hostilities.

“The Indo-Pacific is a thriving region. It is also a theatre of tensions,” von der Leyen said. “Take the situation in the East and South China Sea and the constant threat of the DPRK (North Korea).”
Von der Leyen, in Japan for the latest in a series of annual talks, also said they were aware that regional tensions existed in Asia as well, and that the EU wanted – and needed – to take on a bigger role.

The news report also said the leaders warned of China’s close relationship with Russia, which calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” and condemned unilateral moves to change the status quo in any region of the world.

“Our cooperation in Ukraine is critical but it is also important in the Indo-Pacific, and we also want to deepen our consultation on a more assertive China,” Michel said. “We believe that China must stand up to defend the multilateral system that it has benefited from.”

About Jaqueline Deeon

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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One Comment on “The EU wants to take on a bigger role in Asia”

  1. There are always some good news from business and others in Scand Asia, that show there is a future.

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