EU President urges trade to halt Asia-Pacific militarisation
The Asia-Pacific region is showing signs of militarisation that could lead to an arms race, EU President Herman Van Rompuy warned Wednesday, calling for closer trade ties to defuse any political tensions.
"Whereas Europe used to be the most dangerous continent in the past century... the focus of security analysts and hard power strategic planners has recently moved towards developments in Asia and the Pacific," said Van Rompuy in a speech at the University of Zurich.
"They do not yet observe a full-blown arms race, but in terms of military spending and confrontational psychology, the premises of an arms race are there," he added, without naming individual countries.
"It will thus be key to continue deepening economic relationships within that region, so as to make a war as it were 'materially impossible'," added Van Rompuy.
Noting that the EU is a key trading partner to major economies in the region, the EU Council President said Brussels "does not only have a significant stake in regional stability, but itself is a potential major factor contributing to this stability."
This fact "should also be reflected in higher political attention paid to and political activity shown in the region," he added.
© 2011 AFP