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Europe's Role in the Indo-Pacific: Insights from Dr. Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy

Date : 2024-05-28 Department : International Master's Program in International Studies
【Article by College of International Affairs】
Programme in European Union Studies (PEUS) of NCCU invites Dr. Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy, Associate Researcher from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and assistant professor at National Dong Hwa University, to share her perspective on EU’s role in the Indo-Pacific on May 7th.

Dr. Ferenczy's discourse began by delineating the dynamic of the new reality in the Indo-Pacific, emphasizing the need to analyze China's role and influence. She highlighted Europe's strategic imperative to adapt to the shifting global landscape shaped by the US-China power rivalry. Amidst this backdrop, Dr. Ferenczy underscored two paramount priorities for the European Union (EU): fortifying its defensive capabilities and recalibrating its engagement with the developing world.

The lecture delved into the intricate dynamics of the emerging reality, marked by the central geostrategic rivalry between the United States and China, and the strategic alignment between Russia and China. Dr. Ferenczy emphasized Europe's quest for relevance and agency, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, which has become a focal point of global attention.

Of notable significance was the discussion on Europe's perceptions of the Russia-China challenge. Dr. Ferenczy talked on the strategic cooperation between Russia and China across various domains, including economics, diplomacy, security, and military affairs. The convergence in the information space, coupled with shared strategic goals aimed at undermining democratic governance, was highlighted as a critical area of concern. These observations of recent diplomatic exchanges between Beijing and Moscow, underscoring their mutual commitment to strengthening strategic coordination and opposing external interference in their internal affairs are valuable insights for the students.

Furthermore, Dr. Ferenczy shed light on the global implications of Russian aggression, emphasizing NATO's acknowledgment of the interconnected security concerns spanning Europe and Asia. The lecture underscored NATO's openness to constructive engagement with China while remaining vigilant against its coercive policies.

From a European perspective, the evolving nature of China's engagement and its strategic alignment with Russia have prompted a recalibration of EU strategies. European leaders, including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, have recognized the imperative to adapt to this changing reality. Dr. Ferenczy stressed the need for Europe to reinforce its defensive toolbox, mitigate economic coercion, and engage with the Indo-Pacific region through strategic partnerships, particularly with ASEAN.

In conclusion, Dr. Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy's lecture provided valuable insights into Europe's evolving role in the Indo-Pacific, urging for a nuanced approach that balances defensive preparedness with proactive engagement in shaping the regional order. The students were very much inspired by Dr. Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy’s talk and had engaged in ardent discussions after the lecture.
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