What Europe brings to the 'Indo-Pacific' club

France and Germany have various strengths which can help smaller states uphold international law in the South China Sea

In the Indo-Pacific region, Europe might lack the sheer military might of the US, but they bring a different set of strategic assets to the table, says the writer.PHOTO: REUTERS

Once reigning supreme across Asia, European powers became increasingly marginal in the region's post-colonial history. Ties between larger South-east Asian countries, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and their former European colonisers, Spain and France, are now overshadowed by new political players.

By and large, regional states look to the United States and China as their key strategic priorities, with Japan, Australia, India and South Korea perched on the lower rungs of the pecking order.

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