China has redefined the regional security environment and shifted it toward the Indian Ocean basin. As a result, the security concept of three Pacific “island chains” should grow to include the Indian Ocean as well.
President Rodrigo Duterte's actions suggest that he can set aside personal and even ideological rifts with the West for the sake of larger national security and strategic interests.
The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China have been engaged in discussions on a potential code of conduct (COC) to manage the South China Sea maritime and territorial disputes for over two decades. Finding mutually-agreeable compromises will be difficult but not impossible if all sides are committed to the project.
The hard facts of Indonesia’s archipelagic geography provide both opportunity and challenges in the maritime domain, but for the most part, the country has struggled to adequately patrol and secure its waters.