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German Into-Pacific Strategy

Despite being on an entirely different continent, the German government has seen fit to publish policy guidelines for its dealings in the Indo-Pacific region. They acknowledge the region is becoming the new epicenter shaping the international order, and the document expresses German - and by extension European - interest in participating in the further development of this region. Check out the full policy guidelines here:


"With the rise of Asia, the political and economic balance is increasingly shifting towards the Indo- Pacific region. The region is becoming the key to shaping the international order in the 21st century.

The Indo-Pacific region is not clearly delineated in geographical terms and is defined variously by different actors. The Federal Government considers the Indo-Pacific to be the entire region characterised by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Strategic projections compete with each other and global value chains are intertwined here.

From a global perspective, the region has a young, well-educated population and can look back on decades of considerable economic growth. With China, Japan and the US, the world’s three largest economies have Pacific coastlines. India, another Indo-Pacific power, could become number four a few years from now. Twenty of the world’s 33 megacities are located in this region. With growing economic output, the countries in the region are becoming increasingly self-confident partners in international cooperation, including in the fight against climate change and against the global loss of biodiversity.

Although the majority of the countries in the Indo-Pacific region enjoy a relatively high level of internal stability, the overall structure of the region is in flux in the face of significant shifts in the balance of power as well as growing differences. Past conflicts continue to have an impact on stability to this day. The region is a fairly blank spot in institutional and normative terms and is characterised by rapidly increasing arms dynamics.

More and more governments, organisations and institutions worldwide are making the Indo-Pacific region their conceptual frame of reference and thus the basis of their policies, for example Japan, the US, India, Australia, France and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). All Indo-Pacific concepts allude to the rules-based international order. They differ, however, in terms of their objectives, emphasis on different policy fields, the importance they ascribe to multilateral approaches and, above all, with respect to the question of China’s involvement as a regional power and emerging world power that calls the rules of the international order into question in certain quarters.

As an internationally active trading nation and proponent of a rules-based international order, Germany – embedded in the European Union – has a great interest in participating in Asia’s growth dynamics and in being involved in shaping the Indo-Pacific region, as well as in upholding global norms in regional structures. A thorough understanding of the interests and principles as well as of the key fields of German policy in the region is therefore all the more important. This is what the following policy guidelines seek to achieve.

These policy guidelines are intended to identify points of departure and opportunities for cooperating with partners in the region and to contribute to a future overall EU strategy."

Offer commentary on these guidelines at the forum here:

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