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10 Feb, 2020 12:15

EU wants larger security role in Pacific, ready to work with China – envoy

EU wants larger security role in Pacific, ready to work with China – envoy

The European Union says it wants a greater security role in the Pacific and will have no problem working with China in the region. The EU’s ambassador for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, also told AFP he wanted the bloc to forge deeper trading ties and play a more active political role in the region.

Seam began his four-year term in September. He aims to change perceptions in the Pacific that the EU was primarily an aid donor which also helped out with humanitarian assistance when required.

Asked what form an EU military presence might take, Seam said European forces could help in areas such as climate change mitigation, surveillance targeting illegal fishing, and disaster relief.

The EU’s renewed interest in the Pacific comes after Australia, the US, Britain, New Zealand and Japan have intensified diplomatic efforts in the region to counter China’s increasing role.