The Dutch connectivity agenda is seen largely as a balancing game to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, however the Netherlands wouldn’t go as far as to define it as a device of coercion, as a end result of it will suggest an alternate rather than pursue a direct competing strategy. Although it’s a nation closely reliant on worldwide trade, few conversations are happening in the Netherlands in regards to the want for deglobalisation. That being said, the covid-19 disaster has ignited debates concerning the want for larger EU strategic autonomy. On whether or not to ascertain new free-trade agreements in the area, the federal government want to see negotiations with Australia and New Zealand conclude quickly. In this sense, it might be open to further agreements with India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations . The query about whether or not to ascertain such an settlement with China remains delicate, with the reply depending on Beijing’s preparedness to undertake to EU requirements.
This makes it challenging to assess the impression that Europe may have on future trends in the Indo-Pacific. For Europe, the Indo-Pacific is essentially one of a number of international priorities, as reflected within the language of the EU Strategy for Cooperation within the Indo-Pacific. The United Kingdom’s Integrated Review explicitly states that the “bulk” of the UK’s security effort will remain centered on the Euro-Atlantic area. Yet to form the regional setting and promote deeper security cooperation, European nations might need to dedicate significant additional sources to maintain a daily presence within the region, nicely beyond the distinguished inaugural naval deployments made by Germany and the UK in 2021. Australia’s search for global partners in the Indo-Pacific, nevertheless, is not pushed by considerations about China alone. It can be driven by an more and more open acknowledgement that the United States is not the peerless regional hegemon that it once was – and, in the phrases of one former Australian defence minister, can’t maintain deterrence alone.