Reports of Chinese oceanographic research vessels operating off the western coast of the Philippines in late 2016 have stirred up controversy in Manila this month. In this AMTI podcast, Greg Poling speaks with Peter Dutton, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, and Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, to assess what the Chinese vessels were doing, whether it was legal, the public response, and what the controversy says about future cooperation between China and the Philippines
Taken collectively, Jokowi's Sea Policy does not yet appear to have fundamentally changed how the Indonesian government would implement or elevate the GMF.
Philippine secretary of national defense Delfin Lorenzana stirred up a political maelstrom in Manila last week with the revelation that Chinese survey vessels were apparently conducting oceanographic research work off the east coast of Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines.
A rumored Saudi Arabian plan to buy an atoll in the Maldives is unlikely to significantly alter the Indian Ocean security environment. The concern the plan has provoked, however, is a sign of how sensitive regional governments have become to any developments that appear to threaten the region’s fragile order.
AMTI Director Gregory Poling discusses the implications of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's relationship with Donald Trump, its impact on the U.S.-PH alliance and maritime security, the fallout from Duterte’s drug war, and the decisions facing both sides.
On its face, having coast guards patrol large bodies of disputed territory might be cause for optimism. But the way coast guards are employed in the South China Sea as blunt instruments to assert state power gives more cause for concern than optimism.
Country-level pragmatic calculations may contribute to more peaceful relations among claimant states, but risk driving ASEAN into total irrelevance as China shapes the regional agenda on its own terms.