EU Assistance to Asia

As Europe’s growth is contingent on Asia’s prosperity, ensuring unrestricted navigation in Asia’s waterways is thus of the utmost strategic interest to the European Union. Given that Asia’s geopolitical hotspots will increasingly revolve around maritime zones, the EU needs to begin engaging on the issue of maritime security.

Maritime Security In Asia: What The EU Can Do – Analysis
By Gauri Khandekar

Maritime security may be the defining issue for Asia’s geopolitical and security architecture in the twenty-first century. As Europe’s growth is contingent on Asia’s prosperity, ensuring unrestricted navigation in Asia’s waterways is thus of the utmost strategic interest to the European Union. Given that Asia’s geopolitical hotspots will increasingly revolve around maritime zones, the EU needs to begin engaging on the issue of maritime security.

Growing instabilities in an increasingly integrated Asia menace EU interests. Almost 90 per cent of global trade, and the same share of EU external trade, travels by sea. Freedom of navigation is a precondition for global growth. Some of the world’s busiest and most crucial waterways are found in Asia. South East Asia in particular has a delicate maritime scenario, in which such issues play a big part in foreign relations. These issues remain highly complex. Territorial overlaps are unavoidable. Bottlenecks like the Straits of Malacca, Sunda Straits, and Lombok and Makassar Straits are strategic gateways for the transport of goods and energy resources from Europe and the Middle East to East Asia and the Pacific Rim, and vice versa. The Straits of Malacca, connecting the Indian Ocean to the Pacific via the South China Sea, is the bottleneck of the most strategic importance internationally – perhaps with the sole exception of the Strait of Hormuz. As the transport of energy becomes a mounting concern to fuel an ascendant Asia, any blockage of these vital bottlenecks is likely to cause a hike in the price of oil.
Asia
Sovereignty disputes over maritime territory increase the threat of armed conflict in the world’s fastest growing region. Piracy, terrorism and the risk of maritime disasters such as collisions, groundings or spills intensify the volatility of the area. The region’s geography reflects this dynamic: concave coastal areas, ‘turning points’ and numerous islands over which sovereignty is disputed, can require………….[access full article]

 

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