FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BRUSSELS – A few hours after the announcement of a pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to counter Chinese influence in the East, the European Commission presented on Thursday 16 September a new strategy to better promote the European presence in the Indo-Pacific . On the occasion, the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell argued that the Anglo-Saxon initiative is a new goad in the side of the European Union for it to strengthen itself in the defense sector.
The new community strategy in the Indo-Pacific is the first step in a project called the Global Gateway and with which the Twenty-seven want to sign international agreements that go well beyond trade. The action plan foresees the strengthening of production chains, new partnerships in the environmental and digital fields, new agreements in maritime safety, special efforts to improve connectivity. The goal is to respond to the Chinese Silk Road. In the digital field, for example, the first agreements in the Indo-Pacific will be negotiated with Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Agreements in the environmental field will be drawn up with the countries that most share the community approach in this field. Officially, in the strategy just presented, China remains a partner among many, but between the lines emerges the desire to strengthen cooperation, especially with Japan, Australia, India and Taiwan. to Parliament, the European Commission notes that military spending in the Indo-Pacific region rose to 28% of the world total in 2019, from 20% in 2009.
The document reads: “Given the importance of a significant European naval presence in the Indo-Pacific, the European Union will consider ways to ensure greater naval deployment by its member states in the region.” Brussels intends to promote new ties with other regions of the world as well, as the president of the community executive Ursula von der Leyen explained last Wednesday. The attempt is to multiply European influence and foster international relations based on rules and law. Also on Thursday 16 September, Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis argued in Geneva the need to relaunch the World Trade Organization.
The announcement of the three Anglo-Saxon countries, on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, came as a surprise here in Brussels, as admitted a spokesman for the EU executive, Peter Stano. The European Union “had not been informed of the initiative and we are in contact with the three countries to better take the measures of this new alliance”. The spokesman then added that in the next few days “an analysis of the situation and the repercussions of this agreement will be carried out”.