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
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.