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EU launches Indo-Pacific strategy to boost its presence in the area


Flags of European Union and China are pictured during the China-EU summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The EU began a formal strategy on Thursday to push its presence in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s power.

They pledged to seek a trading agreement with Taiwan and station more ships to maintain an open sea area.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, said the strategy is also open to China, especially in climate change areas.

However, Diplomats said deeper relations with India, Japan, Australia and Taiwan aim at undermining China’s power.

Borrell said the AUSUK agreement between the US, Australia and Britain asserted the need for a decisive foreign policy. Read more.

The countries did not consult the EU in Wednesday’s agreement, which aimed at establishing a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific.

He added that the EU is keen to work with Britain on Security, but the latter was not interested since the Brexit.

Borell expressed regret that Australia had canceled a submarine deal for 40 billion dollars with France.

“We must survive on our own, as others do,” Borrell said while presenting the new EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific.

“I understand the extent of the French government’s disappointment,” he continued.

Charles Michel, the EU’s Chairman, said the US deal with Australia and Britain shows the need for common EU interests.

After the primary plan in April, the European Union specified seven fields in the Indo-Pacific to increase its influence within.

The areas are health, security, data, infrastructure, environment, trade and oceans.

Moreover, the plan might promote a higher EU diplomacy on the Indo-Pacific issues.

An EU document highlights the importance of having a European naval presence in the Indo-Pacific.

It confirms that the EU will explore more ways to ensure the improvement of naval deployments in the region.

Evidently, the trading talks with Taiwan will likely disturb China after Lithuania increased relations with the country.

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