Analysis

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

Balikatan 2019 and the Crisis in Philippine-China Rapprochement

From April 1 to 12, units from the major branches of the U.S. and Philippine militaries conducted 28 major exercises that tested and enhanced their skills and abilities in joint combat and humanitarian operations. During the two-week Balikatan (“Shoulder-to-Shoulder”) exercises, Filipino, American, and a small number of Australian troops participated in counter-terrorism training, amphibious operations […]

Duterte’s Scarborough Shoal Moment

Three years into his quiescent China policy, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is experiencing a rude awakening in the South China Sea. The ongoing Chinese siege of the Philippines’ largest land feature in the Spratlys, Thitu Island, represents Duterte’s greatest foreign policy crisis and, ironically, the very country he has courted assiduously is at the heart […]

A Landmark Ruling on the Chagos Islands

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February issued a non-binding advisory opinion rejecting the United Kingdom’s claim of sovereignty over the Chagos Islands, which London calls the British Indian Ocean Territory, and ruling that they should be returned to Mauritius. The court, at the request of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), considered two […]

China’s Economic Cabbage Strategy

The blossoming Philippines-China relationship has opened a floodgate of Chinese investments, unnerving domestic players including the influential military establishment. In particular, China’s bid for a 300-hectares shipping yard in Subic Bay, the former site of one of the United States’ largest overseas naval bases, has unleashed a political firestorm, exposing the fragility of the ongoing rapprochement and the resilience of Beijing-skeptic sentiments in the Southeast Asian country.