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Maritime security, counter-terrorism and disaster management are areas in which the European Union (EU) should be more active in South-East Asia, according to an EU security policy report released Friday in Singapore.

The report's launch came ahead of a key regional security summit and at a time of increased tension in the South China Sea, where territorial disputes have intensified in recent months between Beijing and several South-East Asian countries.

An international tribunal in The Hague is expected to rule soon on a landmark case brought against China by the Philippines over disputed islands in the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. 

The report also cites as a concern threats posed by terrorism, and it says EU activities in disaster relief are an area for improvement.

“We should very carefully analyze how we can enhance our military presence in the region,” said Norbert Riedel, Director for Asia-Pacific at the German Federal Foreign Office.

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