One of the prominent features in the Indo-Pacific region from 2019 until now is the tendency of European countries increasing their presence here. In 2019, France was the first country to announce the Indo-Pacific Strategy via two documents, including the French Ministry for the Armed Forces’ “Defense Strategy in the Indo-Pacific[1] and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ “France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy[2]. In September 2020, Germany released “Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific”.[3] Next, in November 2020, the Netherlands issued “Indo-Pacific: Guidelines for strengthening Dutch and EU cooperation with partners in Asia”.[4]  In March 2021, the UK published “Global Britain in a Competitive Age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy”.[5] On April 16, 2021, the Council of the EU issued Conclusions on “EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific[6] for the first time, which represents the bloc’s mutual perception. On September 16, 2021, the European Commission (EC) published a joint communication on “The EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific”.[7]

It is a notable development that some key European countries and the EU are expanding their engagement in the Indo-Pacific because these countries still have some other focused strategic maritime areas such as the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea or the Baltic Sea; and in fact, they are relatively far from the Indo-Pacific compared to the US, India, Japan or Australia. So what are the interests of European countries when expanding engagement in the region? Do they share a common voice in their regional approach? What opportunities can Vietnam take advantage of from this trend? The article seeks to answer these questions by analyzing the aforementioned strategies.

Comparison based on key elements

That France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the EU as a bloc all released Indo-Pacific strategies or policies within a short period of time shows that European countries recognize the importance of the region in the changing international situation and in the global economy. The abovementioned documents also have many things in common: all mention challenges undermining the “rules-based order” in the region, all aim to increase the presence of these actors in the region and in many fields (including maritime security), all promote democracy - freedom or emphasize ASEAN centrality in the region, etc.

However, a careful analysis of the Indo-Pacific strategies and policies of the EU and the aforesaid European countries reveals the following fundamental differences:

Defining the Indo-Pacific region

The EU’s definition of Indo-Pacific is the most comprehensive, which generally describes the region encompassing the geographic area from “the east coast of Africa to the Pacific Island States”.[8] Meanwhile, France defines the widest area, including the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean, and spanning from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of the Americas. France stresses on vital maritime routes running from Indonesia to Madagascar, from Oman to Singapore, from Japan to Australia, and from China to Polynesia.[9] The Netherlands’ delineates a geographically narrower Indo-Pacific stretching from Pakistan to the islands of the Pacific, especially emphasizing the East and South China Seas, which bears resemblance to  France when it comes to sea routes connecting Europe with Asia and Oceania. However, unlike France, the Netherlands does not mention Africa.[10]

Germany's strategy does not clearly define the Indo-Pacific in geographical terms but considers it "the entire region characterized by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific."[11] Similarly, the UK does not define regional geographical limits. The UK’s policy shows that the country directly focuses more on the maritime routes around the waters of India, China, Southeast Asia as well as the British Overseas Territories.

The approach to China

China is the most notable actor mentioned multiple times in these strategies, both positively and negatively. France emphasizes the threat from China most strongly, at both global level and on specific issues when describing China as a growing challenge; “the global reach of China’s ambitions” posing many challenges; Sino-Russian close relations "challenging democratic values"; China being the region’s biggest polluter which made up 30% of regional emissions, etc. Remarkably, France is the only country that mentions the "grey zone" challenges in the region, including the operation of coast guards and paramilitary forces, the threat from the outer-space telecommunications systems in which France directly mentions Chinese systems.

The UK, similar to France, approaches China from a global and strategically competitive perspective. To be more specific, the UK’s strategy mentions “China” 26 times; appraises "China’s increasing international assertiveness" as “the most significant geopolitical factor” in the new decade; and considers China as the UK’s "systemic competitor" and "the biggest state-based threat to the UK’s economic security”, etc. However, the UK recognizes China's importance more than France by emphasizing economic opportunities from China and UK-China cooperation on transnational issues.[12]

Meanwhile, Germany and the Netherlands mention China less (8 and 16 times respectively) and take more neutral approaches. Germany considers China as a "regional power" and an "emerging world power", without naming any specific country when it comes to "hegemony" or regional disputes. The Netherlands mentions tensions between China and its neighbors as well as China's expanding nuclear arsenal, but does not call these “challenges”. Both Germany and the Netherlands emphasize cooperation with China bilaterally and multilaterally through the EU.[13]

On the surface, EU documents show the most positive approach to China. The EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific (April 2021) mentions China only once in the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. The Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific (September 2021) strikingly mentions China 9 times, emphasizing bilateral cooperation in many fields, including economy, environment and maritime security, etc., while at the same time the EU affirmed in a press release that the EU's strategy was not directed against China.[14] Concerns about China are delicately interpreted in the document. For example, China's “military build-up" is cleverly inserted into regional common trend of enhancing military capability. In addition, the EU does not criticize China for challenging human rights like the UK or France, but only says there are "fundamental disagreements" with China on this issue. The EU also does not mention any specific country's military presence, but only the display of force in the East and South China Seas, etc.[15]

However, the two EU documents heavily bring up matters which the West often uses to criticize China, such as regional strategic competition, the need to diversify supply chains and reduce dependence on raw materials, the compliance with international laws and human rights, or fair competition in trade. Regarding EU-Sino cooperation, EU documents do not focus on traditional security, only mentioning an agreement on investment, cooperation in tackling plastic pollution or the "Ocean Partnership" with China signed in 2018. Meanwhile, cooperation with other partners is more focused. Vietnam is mentioned 7 times with initiatives such as “Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia” (ESIWA), “Responsible Supply Chains in Asia” or “Framework Participation Agreements”.

Prioritized fields

The focus in these strategies is much different. France sets out four pillars of cooperation with the region[16], with security at the forefront (followed by economy, multilateralism - the rule of law and environment - climate). The comprehension of security revolves more around national security than regional security, whereby France prioritizes the strategic autonomy with the goal of defending the integrity of sovereignty, national territories and EEZ, and then coming economy, order and values.[17]

Likewise, the UK focuses on security (both traditional and non-traditional) but the difference from France is that economic priority comes first. To be more specific, among the 10 action groups in the Indo-Pacific, the economy is mentioned first and accounts for the largest number of actions (4/10 actions), then security (3/10) and politics - values (2/10). Overall, the UK sets the most "ambitious" goal to become the European country with the "broadest, most integrated" presence in the region, and "lead” areas in which the UK has the most relevant capabilities. Basically, there are two observable goals of the UK : (i) The UK needs hard power to ensure security against the backdrop of competition shaping international relations (in which there will be no development without security); and (ii) The UK wants to become not only a partner of the Indo-Pacific but also a big power here (Germany only welcomes the CPTPP while the UK aims to become a member of the CPTPP[18]; not only presents in the Indo-Pacific as European partners, but also with ""the broadest, most integrated " presence and the leading role[19], etc.).

Unlike France and the UK, Germany's strategy prioritizes multilateralism. Germany puts regional institutions first among seven prioritized fields, in which Western-led groups (EU, G20, UN, IMF, WB and WTO) take precedence over regional groups (ASEAN, ASEM, Pacific Islands Forum, Mekong River Commission, etc.). Germany is the only country to mention the pillars of the Bretton Woods system and dedicates separate paragraphs to each institution such as BIMSTEC, AIIB or SAARC and so on. Traditional security is in the third rank of priorities, after climate change and before values (democracy, human rights, the rule of law, etc.), economy (sustainable development, digital transformation, etc.) and education - culture.[20] The Netherlands prioritizes promoting its strategy through the EU over acting unilaterally, putting multilateralism as the third priority (after security and economy).[21] Furthermore, both Germany and the Netherlands emphasize the EU's mutual interests in the region rather than their own interests, linking their national identities with the EU.

Similar to Germany and the Netherlands, the EU puts multilateralism first. Among the six orientations set forth by the EU, cooperation with regional partners is the number one priority, especially through multilateral mechanisms such as ASEAN, ASEM, Indian Ocean Rim Association, Small Island Developing States and ACP countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific), followed by global agendas on climate, ocean governance, human rights and Covid-19, etc. These diplomatic sectors mainly revolve around non-traditional security and economic, but the EU's expression emphasizes multilateralism above all.

Maritime security and the South China Sea issue

Strategies of France, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are more military-oriented, taking clearer stance on the South China Sea issue than the EU’s documents.

Specifically, France's strategies mention multiple bilateral and multilateral exercises with France's participation, as well as freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The UK's strategy repeatedly asserts increasing its overseas military deployment and highlights its "most ambitious" global naval deployment for two decades. The German strategy states that it will participate in many joint exercises in the region and have a maritime presence in “various forms”. The Netherlands ignores maritime presence, does not mention maritime patrol or freedom of navigation, but still takes a clear stance on the South China Sea such as: the EU should express stronger stance in the South China Sea; the Netherlands will help countries involved in the negotiations on the COC to build capacity and consult with Australia on the South China Sea developments.

On the other hand, the EU's April document: (i) only mentions naval presence but does not include any specific exercises; (ii) emphasizes "voluntary" contributions of members to cooperate with regional partners’ navies; (iii) no mention of the South China Sea, East China Sea or Taiwan. Although not mentioning much about military, the EU sets forth three specific programs related to maritime security: (i) Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia (ESIWA); (ii) Critical Maritime Routes in the Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO) phase II; and (iii) Plan to establish Maritime Areas of Interest in the Indo-Pacific. These programs are intended to increase regional maritime domain awareness and capacity, which are less sensitive than exercises or freedom of navigation operations.

Actual implementation

In general, European countries and the EU have yet to fully implement these strategies because these documents were announced recently and many initiatives did not come with specific resources to implement. By the end of 2021, the strategies mainly were deployed through military operations in the field and diplomatic moves. In particular, each country focused on military operations in the field while the EU focused on strategic promotion.

Specifically, France, Britain (with the support of the Netherlands) and Germany have respectively deployed warships to the South China Sea and the region. On the French side, in February 2021, France conducted patrols in the South China Sea, deploying the amphibious assault ship Tonnerre and the destroyer Surcouf to the region for three months. In April 2021, France sent a joint patrol to the South China Sea with Australia for the first time and held joint exercise La Pérouse with four Quad’s members.[22]

On the UK’s side, the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s carrier strike group made a seven-month voyage to the region with nine ships (including one Dutch vessel and one American vessel), 30 aircraft and 3,700 members, interacting with 42 countries and three territories, participating in 18 major exercises with 17 countries.[23] In August 2021 alone, the UK held join exercises with the US, Australia, France, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. In October 2021, the UK exercised with Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. Notably, UK Chef of the Defense Staff General Nicholas Carter informed that the UK planned to maintain a persistent military presence in Indo-Pacific.[24] The UK has soon implemented this commitment when permanently deploying its patrol vessels HMS Tamar and HMS Spey in Indo-Pacific from 2021-2026.

On the German side, in August 2021, Germany deployed the battleship Bayern to the region for seven months, transiting the South China Sea for the first time since 2002. German Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz said that Germany was ready to play a bigger role in the Indo-Pacific, planning to send more aircrafts to the region in a year.[25] The Bayern ship also visited Japan for the first time in 20 years, accompanied by a statement from German Navy Chef Kay-Achim that  the ship’s dispatch is to show support for Japan, the US and other partners, concurrently emphasized that the South China Sea was “global common, a sea area that belongs to everyone, so it cannot be taken possession of or claimed by anyone.”[26]

On the diplomatic front, EU officials have made many statements and strategy promotion activities to the region. In 2021, the EU mobilized some coastal countries participating in the ESIWA and CRIMARIO projects, sent their special envoy for the Indo-Pacific to promote the strategy and exchange with a number of regional countries, including Vietnam. Senior officials of the UK and France also made many statements showing their commitment to the region. During a visit to Vietnam in July 2021, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defense affirmed the enduring commitment to peace and stability in Indo-Pacific.[27] The UK’s Foreign Secretary stressed the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific to the world and that UK has core interests in the region. The French President pledged to promote maritime security and develop regional infrastructure.[28] The French Foreign Minister affirmed that Indo-Pacific was one of France’s priorities when it assumed the EU Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2022, etc.

Commitment to maritime security has also been reaffirmed by the EU in other bilateral and multilateral statements. During the meeting in Tokyo on July 24, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to promote maritime security and develop regional infrastructure.[29] On August 22, 2021, the EU Ambassador to the Philippines said that the EU wanted to play an important role in Indo-Pacific through cooperation in maritime security and conflict prevention.[30] In addition, in 2021, countries also continuously issued statements on the rules-based order, UNCLOS and the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal ruling.[31][32]

Reasons for the differences

Generally, the Indo-Pacific strategies of France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the EU have similarities and differences. The differences stem from many reasons, mainly due to differences in regional interests, calculations in relations with China, and differences in the strength and overall strategies of these European countries and the EU itself as a bloc.

The fact that France and the UK have different geographical concept of the Indo-Pacific from that of Germany and the Netherlands is because France and the UK have overseas territories here. In particular, France has the most overseas territories in the region (7) among the above European countries, concentrating mainly in East Africa and the Southwest Pacific, which are home to 1.6 million French citizens, 8,000 soldiers and comprise 90% of French exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Thus, France has the most defense-economic interests in the region. Remarkably, France is the only country to directly mention East Africa in geographical terms because it has two overseas provinces, Mayotte and Reunion, off the coast of Southeast Africa, and France is the only country out of the four countries to have base in Djibouti.

To the UK, there are British territories in the Indian Ocean, including about 58 islands of about 60 square kilometers and the sea of about 640,000 square kilometers, which is practically shown in the UK’s Indo-Pacific geographical definition. Moreover, France and the UK are both former colonial powers having invaded many territories in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, so they have a more special nexus with the region, and tend to consider themselves as regional countries. In the same spirit, the EU defines the most comprehensive Indo-Pacific geographical region to cover the interests of member countries, including France. Germany and the Netherlands do not have overseas territories in Indo-Pacific so they are more interested in economic interests in the Pacific Ocean.

Regarding prioritized fields and partners, all strategies have great comprehension revolving around economy as the region brings growing economic benefits to Europe. Specifically, Indo-Pacific accounts for more than one-third of French exports;[33] 17.5% of trade and 10% of foreign direct investment of the UK[34], about 20% of German trade[35], and so on. However, Germany and the Netherlands put economic priorities ahead of security and criticize China less due to no interest in maritime territorial integrity like the UK and France. Germany and the Netherlands are also Europe's top two exporting countries, having closer trade relations with China than the UK and France (in 2021, the Netherlands is the EU’s largest importer from China and Germany is the EU’s largest exporter to China[36]). With regards to EU's strategy, because the EU only has authority on trade and that on diplomacy (which the EU has to share with its members), it cannot direct countries on military issue. Therefore, the EU's strategy focuses more on economy and trade.

Regarding China, the EU has the most positive approach, raising the least concerns about the East and South China Seas because of its institutional reasons. The EU must combine the views of 27 member states and can only reach consensus on areas that do not affect the sovereignty of individual members. It is possible that EU members have not reached a consensus or have not paid much attention to the maritime hotspots in Indo-Pacific. For example, within the EU there were many oppositions to a joint Indo-Pacific strategy;[37] The EU High Commissioner faced difficulty achieving consensus on the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal ruling.[38] Many members have close economic ties with China. There are more members participating in China's Belt and Road initiative (mainly in the 16+1 dialogue group with China) than those outside (France, Germany, the Netherlands, etc.).

Regarding maritime security, the EU's stance changed between the two documents (released April 2021 and September 2021) when it begins to address maritime security hotspots.[39] First, key EU members (France and Germany) possibly have called for this change. Second, it is not excluded possibility that the EU, Germany or France in particular, is influenced by the US. For example, in the case of  Chinese boats massing at Whitsun Reef, it was reported that the US urged its allies to react.[40] Third, the conflict between the EU and China grew in 2020-2021, culminating in the EU "freezing" the ratification of the Comprehensive Investment Agreement due to democracy and human rights issues. China responded by imposing sanctions on EU officials. In addition, some countries participating in the 16+1 format tend to change their views towards China: Lithuania withdrew form this mechanism; Poland has taken a more cautious attitude towards China, having said that the EU-China Investment Agreement was "hasty."[41] Fourth, the EU after Brexit may need to "lift up" the spirit and want to assert its position in the Indo-Pacific. Fifth, new developments in the field, especially in the South China Sea (such as Chinese boats swarming at Whitsun Reef in March 2021 or impeding Malaysia from exploiting energy resources in June 2022), may push deeper concerns about China of members having maritime trade in the South China Sea or interested in international law. Therefore, the EU may have absorbed the concerns of some regional countries during the strategic consultation process.

Implications for Vietnam

The trend of France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the EU expanding their engagement in the Indo-Pacific opens both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam. Regarding opportunities, first, Vietnam is one of the few Southeast Asian countries mentioned directly in these strategies, manifesting Vietnam's thriving position in the eyes of European partners. Specifically, all EU documents mention promoting the implementation of trade and investment agreements with Vietnam. The UK also identifies Vietnam as a "regional power."[42] France considers Vietnam a country with a long-lasting defense relationship[43] and a major partner in education. The Netherlands puts Vietnam on a par with Australia, India, Japan and South Korea. The fact that European partners attach great importance to Vietnam is an opportunity to further consolidate and strengthen bilateral relations.

Second, Europe promoting engagement through ASEAN mechanisms and affirming its support for ASEAN's centrality are in line with Vietnam's orientation. The Indo-Pacific strategies of these partners also have inclusive approach to the region, even including cooperation with China, which are more similar to the approach of “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” than US approach. Thus, these strategies may be more welcomed by ASEAN countries.

Third, Vietnam shares many of the interests highlighted by its European partners in their strategies, including compliance with international law and UNCLOS; promote a rules-based order; develop a sustainable supply chain to reduce economic dependence on a few certain countries, etc. Although the South China Sea is not a main focus of these strategies, Vietnam can still utilize the interest and attention from these partners to internationalize the South China Sea issue, forming favorable force alignment, and deal with China's "grey zone" tactics. The UK and France are likely to have the most specific actions in the South China Sea (the UK is the only extra regional country to conduct FONOPs with the US in the South China Sea in 2018).

Finally, the programs to strengthen the presence in the Indo-Pacific of these European partners open up great opportunities for the law enforcement, economic and academic forces of Vietnam to cooperate in capacity building, including knowledge on maritime management, maritime security, information sharing, etc., contributing to the achievement of maintaining sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law. Currently, the EU has sent representatives of ESIWA and CRIMARIO to work in Vietnam. Germany and France also strongly bolster activities under these programs.

Regarding limitations, first, the fact that Europe prioritizes democracy - human rights in Indo-Pacific strategies may hinder relations with Vietnam, especially there are many existing differences of viewpoints on this matter. However, this may not be too great hindrance because the EU and Vietnam have signed many agreements having contents on human rights, such as the Viet Nam – EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) 2012. Besides, the Vietnam - EU FTA is still being promoted despite the EU Parliament's document concluding that Vietnam violated human rights in 2015 while human rights are one of the requirements for FTA negotiations.

Second, the strategies of the EU, France, Germany and the Netherlands do not mention joint action with the UK and the US. The increasing presence of foreign countries without consistent messages and actions could lead to heightened great-power rivalry and increased risk of incidents in the field. However, European partners possibly coordinate secretly with each other, such as the UK and the Netherlands coordinating in the ships deployment to the Indo-Pacific in 2021. In case of competition, European partners need more support from regional countries, hence Vietnam has more options for cooperation.

Third, the involvement of European partners in the region can set higher expectations for Vietnam and ASEAN if the bloc wants to claim its centrality. The case of the UK promoting the formation of AUKUS with Australia and the US without notifying ASEAN is a manifestation that these countries have not really paid attention to ASEAN as stated, indirectly putting pressure on ASEAN to change. The European partners' mention of Vietnam may be aimed at putting pressure on Vietnam pertaining to more flexible in military cooperation. For instance, during the promotion of CRIMARIO and ESIWA, the EU Delegation to Vietnam expressed its wish to share maritime information with the navy more frequently. Like the cooperation with the US, Vietnam can still convince its European partners to move forward at a suitable pace though.

Fourth, these strategies initially show subjective commitments, which have not yet been practically implemented. The EU has launched many new initiatives such as the Cyber Diplomacy Network or the Digital Partnership Agreement, but there is no specific information on the content. European partners also need time to convince internal actors of the regional importance.[44] The US$300 billion "Global Gateway" launched in December 2021 can help strengthen the EU's presence in Indo-Pacific, but does not have a specific comprehension for the region as well as practical activities.

In short, Vietnam needs to be aware of Europe's interest in the region and the prioritized position of Vietnam which bring many opportunities. Challenges are there but could be mitigated, as analyzed above. This is therefore a strategic opportunity which should be politically welcomed and utilized rather than doubted.

In order to take advantage of the opportunities, Vietnam should actively bolster cooperation with Europe to enhance its national position and prevent Europe from shifting to other partners. Regarding defense - security, Vietnam may consider adding a dialogue channel, especially when there is existing Defense Cooperation Framework between Vietnam and the EU; boldly participate in EU cooperation programs on cybersecurity, climate change, pandemic and peacekeeping; strengthen security cooperation through ASEAN to both reduce the sensitivity of cooperation in this field and secure ASEAN's position in the region; focus on non-traditional fields of maritime security (but still have a defense presence) such as oil spill response, waste management, IUU fishing or piracy first; invite ships from other countries to visit Vietnam when transiting the region, loosen the limit on visiting foreign ships; using satellite communication systems of CRIMARIO and ESIWA (Vietnam may not need to share information about military ships but can propose joint scientific research, measure plastic waste at sea, track militia of other countries, etc.).

Regarding politics - diplomacy, Vietnam can call for France and the UK to upgrade bilateral relations; bilaterally "remind" countries on information sharing, avoiding a case like AUKUS that put ASEAN into a passive position, actively share some information in the field to create motivation for cooperation; bring the South China Sea into the dialogue with European partners, stress on international law and the role of European countries in protecting international law, incentivize ASEM to continue mentioning the South China Sea (China adversely put pressure on the ASEM before[45]); establish a dialogue channel on human rights with European partners, continue to include human rights in strategic dialogues with the UK and so on.

Regarding economy, Vietnam should consider publicly supporting and mobilizing other members to approve of the UK’s accession to  the CPTPP; lobbying France to remove the "yellow card" for Vietnamese seafood; participate in green energy initiatives initiated by the UK and the EU, learn from Europe's experience and investments in wind energy and marine environment conservation in the context of climate change; convince partners to join in expanding Marine Protected Areas; mobilize European partners to support deep sea exploration and exploitation (The UK has experience in this matter but has not yet promoted deep sea exploitation near its territory); actively attract European businesses to relocate their production plants from China to Vietnam and so on.


Through the publication of the Indo-Pacific strategy, key European countries such as France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the EU show that they are highly aware of the importance of the region and are committed to engaging more in the region. While sharing the same goal of increasing their presence in the region, these strategies have fundamental differences in terms of the Indo-Pacific concept, the approach to China, prioritized fields, and implementation measures. The trend of key European countries expanding their engagement in the region opens up both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam. Vietnam needs to take advantage of the opportunities to enhance its national position and consolidate ASEAN’s centrality, welcome the strategies of European partners instead of being hesitant, and at the same time cooperate with these partners on the issues concerning Vietnam or of common interests.

Đỗ Hoàng* (originally published by International Studies in Vietnamese, translated by Đỗ Ngân)


  1. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. “France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.” February 2022.
  2. The FrenchMinistry for the Armed Forces. “France’s Defense Strategy in the Indo-Pacific,” February 2022. .
  3. UK Government. “Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy.” March 16, 2021.
  4. “Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific.” September 2020.
  5. Netherland Government. “Indo-Pacific: Guidelines for strengthening Dutch and EU cooperation with partners in Asia.” November 11, 2020.
  6. Council of the European Union. “EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific -  Council conclusions.” April 16, 2021.
  7. European Union. .”The EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. “September 16, 2021. .
  8. “UK plans to create persistent military presence in Indo-Pacific region.” October 19, 2021.
  9. Emmott, Robin, “EU's statement on South China Sea reflects divisions.” Reuters, July 15, 2016.
  10. Gaston, Sophia. “Annual Survey of UK Public Opinion on Foreign Policy and Global Britain.” BFPG. February 16, 2021.
  11. Grare, Frederic. “The EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy: A chance for a clear message to China and Europe’s allies.” European Council on Foreign Relations. April 22, 2021.
  12. Machi, Vivienne. “As Europe looks to the Indo-Pacific, so does the Luftwaffe.” Defense News, November 5, 2021.
  13. Valencia, Mark “South China Sea: US-China rivalry leaves Whitsun Reef and the Philippines in deep and dangerous waters.” The South China Morning Post, April 15,2021.
  14. Veron, Luc. “EU-ASEAN: Building a better future with the Philippines.” PhilStar, August 22, 2021.
  15. Yumaguchi, Mari. “German navy chief vows long-term commitment to Indo-Pacific.” APNews, November 9,2021.


[1] “France’s Defense Strategy in the Indo-Pacific,” The French Ministry for the Armed Forces,February 2022,

[2] “France’s Indo-Pacific Strategy,” The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, February 2022,

[3] “Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific,” Bundesregierung, September 2020,

[4] “Indo-Pacific: Guidelines for strengthening Dutch and EU cooperation with partners in Asia,” Netherland Government, November 11, 2020,

[5] “Global Britain in a Competitive Age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy,” UK Government, March 16, 2021,

[6] “EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific - Council Conclusions,” Council of the European Union, April 16, 2021,

[7] “The EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” European Union, September 16, 2021,

[8] See Footnote 6, p.3

[9] See Footnote 1, p.7

[10] See Footnote 4, p.2

[11] See Footnote 3, p.8.

[12] See Footnote 5, p.22.

[13] See Footnote 4, p.14, 15 and 16.

[14] “Questions and Answers: EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,”  The Uropean Union, September 16, 2021,

[15] See Footnote 7, p.18.

[16] See Footnote 2, p.  2.

[17] See Footnote 1, p.  5.

[18] See Footnote 5, p.  101.

[19] See Footnote 5, p.  66

[20] See Footnote 3, p.  12.

[21] See Footnote 4, p.  4 & 7.

[22] Xavier Vavasseur, “Australia France India Japan and the United States Take Part in Exercise La Pérouse,” Naval News, April 6, 2021, india-japan-and-the-united-states-take-part-in-exercise-la-perouse/

[23] “CSG21 Port Visits and National Interactions,” United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, truy cập ngày 22/4/2022.

[24] “UK plans to create persistent military presence in Indo-Pacific region,” ANI, October 19, 2021,

[25] Vivienne Machi, “As Europe looks to the Indo-Pacific, so does the Luftwaffe,” Defense News, November 5, 2021,

[26] Mari Yumaguchi, “German navy chief vows long-term commitment to Indo-Pacific,” APNews, November  9, 2021,

[27] “Thông cáo báo chí: Bộ trưởng Quốc phòng Vương quốc Anh Robert Ben Lobban Wallace thăm và thảo luận tại Học viện Ngoại giao Việt Nam,” Nghiên cứu Biển Đông, July 23, 2021,

[28] “Suga, Macron vow to share Olympics experience, boost defense ties,” Kyodo News, July 24, 2021,   

[29] Như trên.  

[30] Luc Veron, “EU-ASEAN: Building a better future with the Philippines,” PhilStar, August 22, 2021,

[31] “World Peace Forum Beijing - China and Europe Panel Session,” UK Government, July 5,2021,

[32] “VTC of Kramp-Karrenbauer and Chinese Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe,” Federal Ministry of Defense, July 8, 2021,

[33] See Footnote 1, p.  7.

[34] See Footnote5, p.  66.

[35] See Footnote4, p.  35.

[36] “China-EU - international trade in goods statistics,” Eurostats, Feb 22, 2022,,of%20goods%20(22.4%20%25).&text=Among%20EU%20Member%20States%2C%20the,goods%20to%20China%20in%202021

[37] Frederic Grare, “The EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: A Chance for a Clear Message to China and Europe’s Allies,” European Council on Foreign Relations, April 22, 2021,

[38] Robin Emmott, “EU's statement on South China Sea reflects divisions,” Reuters, July 15, 2016,

[39] The April 2021 document does not mention the South China Sea or Taiwan. The September version mentions South China Sea 3 times and Taiwan 5 times.

[40] Mark Valencia, “South China Sea: US-China rivalry leaves Whitsun Reef and the Philippines in deep and dangerous waters,” the South China Morning Post, April 15, 2021,

[41]  “Democratic foreign policy - a fundament of our common strength - interview with Poland’s Foreign Minister Dr Zbigniew Rau,” PISM, ngày January 14, 2021,

[42] See Footnote 5, p.  22.

[43] See Footnote 1, p.  18 & Footnote 2, p.  58.

[44] Sophia Gaston, “Annual Survey of UK Public Opinion on Foreign Policy and Global Britain,” BFPG, Februray 16, 2021,

[45] “No South China Sea talk at Asia-Europe meeting, says China,” Asia Times, July 1,1 2016,

* East Sea (South China Sea) Institute, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.