Analysis

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

Duterte’s Pivot to Russia

While Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial China policy has understandably attracted considerable attention, few have taken his strategic pivot to Russia seriously enough. Instead, even some senior Filipino officials view burgeoning ties with Moscow as nothing but a reflection of Duterte’s personal fascination with Russia and his famed “bromance” with Vladimir Putin. But reaching out […]

Drivers and risks of China’s pressure on Vietnam

A concoction of regional and domestic factors is driving China’s increased pressure on Vietnam in the South China Sea, but this strategy entails serious risks for Beijing and, if overplayed, may backfire. While Hanoi’s options to respond are currently limited, they may gain potency as Beijing’s intimidation tactics galvanize support among ASEAN and the international […]

Should Vietnam Bring the South China Sea to the United Nations?

On September 12, Vietnam publicly denounced the provocative actions of Chinese vessels in Vietnamese waters for the seventh time since June, urging China to withdraw their ships. These statements have done little to deter China’s activities: the survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 continues to violate Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, while Chinese coastguard vessels such as […]

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 […]