Global Asia Journal


Occasional Paper No. 7

Document Type



Europe and East Asia are highly interdependent through their extensive mutual trade and investment relations, but also because the European Union (EU), China, and Japan are major actors on international forums such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). While Europe has a stable regional security system – the main component of which is the EU – this is not the case in East Asia. The lack of a dependable security mechanism to deal with potential East Asian flashpoints such as the ‘Taiwan issue’ has a destabilising effect on Europe’s economic and security interests. Clearly, Europe would benefit from a strengthening of stability in East Asia. The main argument in this paper is that the EU should strive to assume a degree of responsibility for East Asian security that corresponds with its interests. The EU arms embargo against China serves as an illustration both of the need for the EU to take more responsibility for East Asian security, and of the ways in which a more activerole might be pursued.