If the Philippine military is conscripted into Rodrigo Duterte's drug war and participates in extra-judicial killings, congressional regulations could force the United States to suspend military aid and training to the units involved, a potentially devastating impact on the bilateral military relationship.
The Philippines’ newly minted president couldn’t have asked for a more high-profile diplomatic debut when he attended this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, which saw the participation of the leaders from across the Asia Pacific, including the United States, Japan, China, Russia, and India, along with the secretary-general of the United Nations. […]
China may be gaining the strategic upper-hand in the ongoing scramble in the South China Sea thanks to its newly-built artificial islands, but it is facing increasing backlash in the region. Neighboring states as well as external powers have stepped up their diplomatic pressure on Beijing, while coordinating their efforts at safeguarding freedom of […]
On January 12, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States is an executive agreement that does not require Senate approval. With the ruling in hand, the Philippines and the United States governments can begin in earnest to implement the 2014 deal, which mainly […]
The Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur passed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, the southernmost of the Paracel Islands, on January 30 in the second operation in the South China Sea in recent months under the Department of Defense’s Freedom of Navigation Program. And despite significant disappointment in some quarters, the operation was a […]
On January 12 the Philippine Supreme Court came out with a courageous decision reaffirming the constitutionality of the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. In a 10 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the EDCA, paving way for the return of forward-deployed U.S. forces to select Philippine […]
In November, Singapore hosted a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping. Notwithstanding the conclusion of several bilateral agreements, the spotlight invariably focused on Xi’s comments on the South China Sea, where he reiterated China’s commitment to freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes. Xi’s assurances were timely given regional […]
AMTI director Gregory Poling sits down with Colm Quinn to discuss the the U.S. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operation, U.S. policy in the South China Sea, the ongoing Philippine-China arbitration case, and what a long-term solution to the dispute might look like. This interview was originally recorded for the October 31 CSIS Podcast.
The United States has started long overdue freedom of navigation (FON) operations in the South China Sea. Washington launched the FON program in 1979 to challenge coastal states’ excessive maritime claims through diplomatic engagement and operational assertion. During the Cold War the United States conducted FON operations in Soviet territorial seas, where Moscow did not […]
The U.S. Freedom of Navigation (FON) Program has recently drawn significant attention in the United States and abroad. An argument could be made that the program has received more attention in 2015 than in its preceding 35 years combined. This recent focus arose as the world witnessed China engage in reclamation (enhancement of naturally-formed areas […]
On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation (FON) patrol to challenge China’s territorial claims over the 12-nautical-mile region surrounding its artificial islands in the South China Sea. Chinese authorities responded angrily but cautiously, publicly condemning the act and sending two naval ships to trail the Lassen, but stopping short […]
After months of internal debate within the Obama administration, the guided missile destroyer USS Lassentransited within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, one of China’s artificially-built features in the South China Sea, on October 27 in what is termed a “freedom of navigation” (FON) operation. It was accompanied by two maritime surveillance aircraft, a P-8A […]