RSIS Panel Webinar on “The Europeans in the Indo-Pacific: Jointly or National, and What Does Asia Think?”
The larger European countries as well as the European Union (EU) as an organisation show an increasing strategic interest in the Indo-Pacific — a concept that seeks to redefine strategic Asia and increasingly gained traction in recent years. This RSIS webinar will discuss this trend and seeks to introduce the respective national strategic objectives, means, and limitations of the three largest European states, France, Germany, and Great Britain, for the Indo-Pacific region.
First and foremost, this webinar seeks to make sense of European strategies and implementation for a local audience here in Southeast and East Asia. However, we will also jointly try to identify overlaps and find possible synergies for meaningful intra-European as well as inter-regional cooperation. The speakers will, for example, evaluate the potential for and impact of either a common EU or an “E3” (Germany, France, UK) framework for Indo-Pacific engagement. How likely is such a cooperation, and how meaningful can their contributions be? What exact format would be most suitable for implementation — an E3, EU+1, etc?
Lastly, we want to zoom in on regional perspectives, specifically ASEAN, the local regional organisation that receives most attention from the Europeans, but also China, the implicit addressee. At least rhetorically, ASEAN plays a central role in the view of all three European countries and the EU. There is a need to identify meaningful cooperation areas with ASEAN as well as appropriate ASEAN mechanisms within which the Europeans can anchor their Indo-Pacific strategies. What, if anything, is the European value added from an ASEAN perspective, and what would ASEAN countries expect from the Europeans? China is doubtlessly the main addressee of Indo-Pacific strategies; at the very least, it is the main cause of strategic reprioritisation. Yet, the Chinese voice is too often excluded from the discussion. How is the Indo-Pacific debate in general, and European engagement in particular, received in Beijing?
About the Panellists
Frederick Kliem is a Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Frederick’s research interests include regional integration and multilateralism in Asia and Europe. At the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, he studies ASEAN, Southeast Asia and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the European Union and comparative regionalism. In addition, Frederick is freelance Consultant and Key Expert on ASEAN-EU matters to EU consortia in Brussels. Before joining RSIS, Frederick was Senior Programme Manager at the political foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Singapore.
Alice Billon-Galland is a research fellow at Chatham House, and one of the 14 NATO Young Leaders selected by secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to advise the NATO 2030 process.
As part of the institute’s Europe programme, her research focuses on issues linked to European security inclusive of transatlantic relations, EU, NATO, and with a particular focus on French and British foreign and defence policies as well as post-Brexit security cooperation.
Prior to joining Chatham House in October 2019, she led the European defence programme at the European Leadership Network (ELN).
Alice is part of the Leadership Team of Women in International Security UK (WIIS UK) and serves as a member of the Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security (YGLN).
She is also a 2018 GLOBSEC Young Leader and regularly comments on defence issues for international media from Deutsche Welle to the Wall Street Journal.
A graduate of France’s Ecole Normale Supérieure and holder of an agrégation of English language, Alice completed a Master’s degree in public policy at University College London and was a visiting scholar at Northwestern University in Chicago.
Anisa Heritage joined the Defence and International Affairs Department, Faculty for the Study of Leadership, Security and Warfare at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as Senior Lecturer in May 2020.
Her research expertise centres on international order-building, order contestation and order transformation, and US-China great power competition in the Indo-Pacific.
Her publications focus on the South China Sea disputes and more recently, on the UK’s Indo-Pacific strategy, the “Indo-Pacific Tilt”. Her forthcoming journal article examines European and UK Indo-Pacific strategies, considering the opportunities and challenges of their alignment with the US Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Gilang Kembara is a Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia. His research mainly focuses on the field of maritime safety and security, transboundary security issues, and maritime regional cooperation. Gilang has collaborated with a variety of think tanks both domestic and international. He worked with the National Institute of South China Sea Studies (NISCSS) in China to help establish the China Southeast Asia Research Centre on South China Sea (CSARC), where he was enrolled as a Research Associate. Together with CSARC, he helped convene a group of experts to cooperate on fisheries and environmental issues in the South China Sea. Gilang Kembara graduated from the University of Birmingham, earning a BSc. in Management. He continued his studies at the University of Birmingham, taking International Relations in Contemporary Asia-Pacific, and received his Master of Arts (MA) degree.
Gao Jian is the Senior Researcher and Secretary General of Shanghai Academy of Global Governance and Area Studies at Shanghai International Studies University. He also holds the position of Director of the Centre of British Studies and the Centre of Sino-Britain People-to-people Dialogue, and Director of the Centre for European Studies at Shanghai International Studies University. His primary academic interest lies in Comparative Cultural Studies, Chinese and World Intellectual History and International Strategic Studies. He is the distinguished researcher of China Forum by Tsing Hua University and Honourable Expert of the Committee of Oriental Think Tank by Shanghai Oriental Media Group. Professor Gao is a renowned columnist for varied medias domestic and abroad.