Pompeo’s reassurance on the South China Sea may assuage Philippine anxiety over one aspect of the treaty, but the agreement is more complicated and some in Manila worry over just what circumstances would persuade Washington to uphold the treaty—or demand that it be upheld.
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.
Rather than centering on irreconcilable claims of ownership that run against China’s core interests of national unity, territorial integrity and development, the dispute over FONOPs is instead one of how the sea should be utilized, and how it should be governed.
The review of the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty may be disruptive, but the treaty’s ambiguity and evolving geopolitical realities have clearly outweighed institutional inertia in the initiation of the process.
China alone doesn’t explain the Natuna unit’s development. Organizational pressures and broader security challenges are more pertinent. Analysts should be cautious in assigning a “China motive” to anything that Indonesia does in connection with the South China Sea.
Beijing has undertaken sweeping efforts to modernize its navy. At the 18th Party Congress in 2012, then-President Hu Jintao called for China to become a “maritime power” capable of safeguarding its maritime rights and interests.
This article comments favorably on the CSIS expert working group’s blueprint for establishing regional co-operative arrangements in the South China Sea. Yet this article proposes an alternative—or supplementary—approach.
The deployment of an Island Reef Information Station Ocean E-Station to Bombay Reef may have opened a new chapter in the international debate over matters of sovereignty, legality and control in the South China Sea.
Instead of solidifying bilateral ties, Xi’s visit seem to have only exposed internal fault lines and widespread skepticism in the Philippines over Duterte’s strategic flirtation with Beijing.
Vietnam’s strategy in the South China Sea is facing increased limitations in the wake of evolving security contexts.
The contents of the Philippines-China Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Development (MOU) were officially revealed in a rather unusual manner in the wake of Xi Jinping’s visit in late November.
On November 20, Presidents Xi Jinping and Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the exchange of a “memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development” in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea between their respective foreign ministers in Manila. The highly anticipated agreement was expected to seal the radical change in relations between the two disputing parties in the South China Sea. But apart from the announcement of its title, details remain very sketchy.
Misperceptions about the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue have been so strong that more ink has been spilled explaining what the Quad is not and what it does not intend than on what it is and what objectives it has. Dr. Huong Le Thu releases the results of her survey detailing perceptions of the Quad in ASEAN.
On the surface, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is overseeing a new “golden age” in bilateral relations with China, often going the extra mile to please his new partner in Beijing. Never shy of expressing his “love” for the Chinese leadership, Duterte has repeatedly downplayed, and even threatened to sever, the Philippine-U.S. alliance in order to […]
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.
The shocking return to power of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad earlier this year seems to have brought an end to Malaysia’s traditionally deferential, if not subservient, relations with China.
Philippine media recently reported two significant developments that imply the Philippine Navy (PN) is on the verge of a major technological leap.
After two decades of talks, skepticism about the development of a South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) is well-deserved, but it is also important to acknowledge progress when it happens. The agreement on a single draft negotiating text, revealed ahead of the ASEAN–China Post Ministerial Meeting on August 2, 2018, is an important step in the process that deserves recognition.
In this podcast, we review the Asia-related sections of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and explore Congress’s role in framing U.S. policy toward Asia. Returning to the podcast to unpack these topics are Dr. Michael Green, Japan Chair and Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS, and Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and fellow with Southeast Asia Program at CSIS.
Critics who slam the Duterte government for its failure to assert the 2016 arbitral ruling do not realize that that assertion is happening, albeit in a different manner than expected.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines is seen by many as China’s newest best friend. Behind his bluster, however, alternative centers of powers have been contesting the push for a pro-China foreign policy.
South Asian states must come to terms with the fact that the seas’ ability to absorb anthropogenic activities is at an end.
Despite the obvious difficulties, it is possible for claimants to cooperate on oil and gas development in the South China Sea in a manner that would be both equitable and consistent with international law as well as the laws of all involved parties.
The long and bumpy process of consultations on a code of conduct (COC) between China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has gained some momentum since the July 2016 South China Sea arbitration award. China communicated its willingness to make some progress by adopting a framework for the COC last […]
President Rodrigo Duterte recently decided to bankroll the second phase of the 15-year Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program. The plan for the program involves three five-year phases, or “horizons.” The first horizon, which began in 2013 and ended in 2017, involved purchases of military hardware mainly for internal security challenges, though it […]
This piece suggests defining the Quad as (1) a balancing measure for all four to enhance the U.S.-led alliance system and eventually better engage with China, and (2) a guiding forum for consulting and implementing policies to maintain the regional order based on shared values and actions.
The Vietnam People’s Air Force finally retired the last of its half-century-old MiG-21 fighter squadrons in 2015, but their retirement raises serious questions about the future of the VPAF and its warfighting doctrine.