Analysis

Read commentary and analysis from the top AMTI experts on maritime Asia.

The ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise and Maritime Security

Geography dictates two divergent perspectives for ASEAN countries. The first belongs to the “continental” group and the second to the archipelagic nations, especially Indonesia and the Philippines, which constitute nearly half of ASEAN’s population, GDP, and land area, and over 80 percent of its exclusive economic zones. A maritime outlook could be expected to dominate […]

Duterte’s Game in Beijing

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s early-August announcement that he will finally invoke the Philippines’ arbitral tribunal victory against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea took everyone by surprise. After all, it represented a marked shift from his earlier decision to “set aside” the landmark ruling, which has been vehemently rejected by China as “null and […]

Vietnam’s Uphill Battle in the South China Sea: A Need for More International Actors

The standoff between China and Vietnam near Vanguard Bank has passed the two-month mark without showing any sign of a resolution. Since mid-June 2019, a Chinese survey ship and its coast guard escorts have been maneuvering in a threatening manner in the southern part of Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a short distance from Block […]

The Indo-Pacific: What’s in a Name?

When discussing the Indo-Pacific, John Henry Saxe’s poem of the blind men and the elephant comes to mind. His blind men likened the elephant to a wall, a spear, a snake, a tree, a fan, or a rope, depending on which part each had touched.  In a similar manner, leaders in the region focus on […]

Preeminence or Partnership? The United States in the Indo-Pacific

The release of the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report by the U.S. Department of Defense last month has given further shape to the United States’ vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. The document underscores the linkages between economics, governance, and security and stresses the importance of allies and partners. However, it also reveals the contradiction between […]

The Reed Bank Crisis: A Call for Upgrading the Philippine-U.S. Alliance

This year’s annual Bilateral Strategic Dialogue to coordinate the Philippine-U.S. alliance could not have come at a more opportune moment. First, it comes months after Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana called for a comprehensive review of the alliance in light of radical changes in the Indo-Pacific geopolitical environment. The Philippine defense chief, who formerly served […]