Indonesia’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Indonesia’s national language “Keamanan Maritim,” or “Keamanan Laut” are the words used in Indonesian to mean “maritime security.” When translated directly into English, “keamanan” […]

Malaysia’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Malaysia’s national language Malaysia’s national language is Bahasa Malaysia. The word “maritime security” normally used in Bahasa Malaysia is “keselamatan maritim.” Maritim directly translates […]

Brunei Darussalam’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Brunei Darussalam’s national language Maritime security is oft mentioned in Brunei Darussalam’s national documents in its English form. This is primarily because these national […]

Vietnam’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Vietnam’s national language In the Vietnamese language, an ninh biển (direct translation: security of the sea) is the term currently used to refer to […]

The Philippines’ Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in the Philippines’ national language The national language of the Philippines is officially Filipino, but this is a mixture of predominant Tagalog language with words […]

Strategic Catch Up: Biden’s Team Is Stepping Up in Southeast Asia

Vice-President Kamala Harris’s maiden visit to Southeast Asia this month couldn’t have come at a more critical juncture. The Biden administration’s “hard and messy” exit from Afghanistan has not only sapped the prestige of American power, at least for the moment, but also enabled rivals and their proxies to gloatingly question the United States’ commitment […]

Codifying Waters and Reshaping Orders: China’s Strategy for Dominating the South China Sea

While states remain focused on combating Covid-19, security challenges to the existing international order have not vanished. On September 1, China’s Maritime Traffic Safety Law (MTSL) came into force, requiring all foreign vessels entering Chinese territorial waters to notify maritime authorities, carry required permits, and submit to Chinese command and supervision. This comes after China’s […]

Britain’s Return to the Indo-Pacific

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s foreword to the Integrated Review of Global Britain’s Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy spoke of HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy, leading a British and allied task group on the United Kingdom’s most ambitious global deployment for over two decades, visiting […]

The Visiting Forces Agreement and the Future of U.S.-Philippine Relations

President Joseph Biden’s victory in last year’s elections was warmly welcomed across Southeast Asia, a vital region at the heart of a brewing new Cold War. Earlier this year, the annual ISEAS Yusof-Ishak Institute survey showed that almost two-thirds of Southeast Asian respondents expressed their preference for the United States over China, a jump in […]

The Quad Has Met: Now It Needs to Get to Work for Maritime Asia

Last month, the top leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States assembled for the first leader-level summit of the so-called “Quad.”  This dialogue partnership dates to 2007 and is built on a foundation laid during the cooperative response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. After wallowing in diplomatic doldrums, the recurring ministerial-level events […]

The Philippines and China Spar Anew

Whitstun Reef, named Julian Felipe Reef in the Philippines after the late composer of the Philippine national anthem, is becoming a new flashpoint in the South China Sea. The massing of about 220 Chinese fishing vessels in the reef in the past several weeks raises worries about China’s growing activities in the contested sea. The […]

Why Biden Should Pursue “Minilateralism” with ASEAN

Since taking office, Joseph Biden’s administration has overseen a renaissance in American commitment to multilateral diplomacy. In its first month in office, the new American leadership has embarked on a global charm offensive to restore frayed international ties following four years of Trumpian unilateralism and protectionism. Within a single week, President Biden held crucial talks […]

Why Quad 2.0 Matters

The bellicose tone emanating from Beijing in the last couple years has led to a pooling of resources by some other countries in the region, notably India, Japan, the United States, and Australia.  This can be seen in the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, in November 2017. This new version of the […]

South China Sea: A Biden-Duterte Reset

If there is a single phrase that best captures President-elect Joseph Biden’s still-nebulous foreign policy doctrine, it is this: “America is back”. In one of his most revealing interviews since the November elections, the incoming U.S. president made it clear that under his administration, “America’s going to reassert its role in the world and be […]

Malaysia in the South China Sea: A Growing Mismatch Between Threat and Capabilities

The South China Sea is an important maritime area for Malaysia. Besides being connected to the world’s major east-west trade routes, Malaysia is one of the claimant states of the Spratly Islands. The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), however, is facing a growing mismatch between its naval capabilities and its interests in addressing maritime challenges in […]

The Quad’s Four Quandaries

The first standalone ministerial meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), hosted by Tokyo early this month, raised expectations about the role the four-member group will play in the fast-changing Indo-Pacific strategic landscape. India’s invitation for Australia to join the 2020 Malabar exercises next month transformed what began as U.S.-India maritime drills in 1992 into […]