Duterte’s Uncertain China Gamble

Breaking with tradition, the Philippines’ controversial leader Rodrigo Duterte chose China for the first major state visit of his presidency. Traditionally, Filipino leaders have visited “all-weather” friends such as Washington or Tokyo before Beijing. This time, however, the Filipino president decided to postpone a scheduled visit to Japan in favor of China, while signaling strategic […]

Are Maritime Law Enforcement Forces Destabilizing Asia?

The following is an excerpt from the latest feature by CSIS’s ChinaPower project. Maritime disputes in the South China Sea present an array of potential flashpoints between countries with overlapping claims. In recent years, many of these countries have mobilized government vessels traditionally used for maritime law enforcement to reinforce their territorial claims. Key among […]

Can Ramos Break the Ice in Philippines-China Relations

Consistent with his campaign promise, the Philippines’ new president Rodrigo Duterte has stepped up efforts to mend ties with China, despite the latter’s flagrant rejection of the Philippines’ recent law-fare victory at The Hague. Duterte has deputized no less than former president Fidel Ramos, who also dealt with Chinese maritime assertiveness in the mid-1990s, to […]