Duterte’s China policy shift: Strategy or Serendipity?

Close to marking its first year in office, the Duterte administration has turned around the country’s relations with China in a number of ways. Departing from the previous government’s strong opposition to China’s expansive claims and assertive actions in the South China Sea, Duterte has downplayed the territorial and maritime disputes in favor of pursuing close economic and political ties with China. Continue reading “Duterte’s China policy shift: Strategy or Serendipity?”

Philippines-China Relations, 2001–2008: Dovetailing National Interests
by Charles Joseph De Guzman / Download the full paper here

This study shows that the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) between China and the Philippines is an attempt of both countries to advance their respective national interests. Arguing that the foreign policies of China and the Philippines dovetailed during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the study situates the JMSU as (1) part of China’s overall foreign policy in Southeast Asia and (2) as an attempt to maintain good relations with the Philippines and help resolve tensions related to the South ChinaSea disputes between the Philippines and China. The paper also shows that (3) the JMSU, along with Chinese ODA, dovetailed with the Philippine government’s plan to promote economic development and facilitate energy security. Citing significant documents compiled by government agencies, newspaper and online articles, government officials’ speeches, and academic journals, the study shows how the Chinese official development assistance (ODA) coincided and ran parallel to the signing of the Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking. In conclusion, the study suggests a direct, causal link, not just conjunction, among Chinese ODA, the advancement of Beijing’s security interests, and the signing of the JMSU.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Hong Kong ahead of ‘Belt and Road’ summit in Beijing

by Jeffie Lam / 10 May, 2017/ SCMP

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will pay a two-day visit to Hong Kong from Friday before heading to Beijing for the high-profile “Belt and Road” summit.

Duterte is expected to arrive on Friday morning. He will attend an event near the airport on Saturday afternoon to meet the city’s Filipinos, before leaving for the capital later that day. Continue reading “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Hong Kong ahead of ‘Belt and Road’ summit in Beijing”

ASEAN gives Beijing a pass on South China Sea dispute, cites ‘improving cooperation’

By Manuel Mogato | April 30, 2017/ Reuters

Southeast Asian countries took a softer stance on South China Sea disputes during a weekend summit, according to a statement issued on Sunday, which went easy on China by avoiding tacit references to its building and arming of its manmade islands. Continue reading “ASEAN gives Beijing a pass on South China Sea dispute, cites ‘improving cooperation’”

Del Rosario urges gov’t: Don’t wait for ‘better time’ to assert arbitral award

 (philstar.com) |

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines cannot wait for a supposed appropriate time in asserting the ruling of a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal over the South China Sea, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said. Continue reading “Del Rosario urges gov’t: Don’t wait for ‘better time’ to assert arbitral award”

China alarmed by Philippine military execs’ visit to Pag-asa Island

 (philstar.com) |

BEIJING (Philippines News Agency) – China has lodged representations with the Philippine side following a visit by the Filipino defense and military officials in Pag-asa Island, according to the spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry. Continue reading “China alarmed by Philippine military execs’ visit to Pag-asa Island”

Manila’s Dilemma: Philippines Cozies Up to US, Mindful of China’s Sensitivities

April 17, 2017/ Sputnik News

The Philippines and the US will hold military drills next month. The news comes just a day after outspoken President Rodrigo Duterte heaped praise on President Donald Trump. Radio Sputnik asked political scientist Dr. Jay Batongbacal to comment on this dramatic shift in the kind of rhetoric toward Washington that’s now coming out of Manila. Continue reading “Manila’s Dilemma: Philippines Cozies Up to US, Mindful of China’s Sensitivities”

A Balanced Philippine Foreign Policy: Managing Relations with Major Powers

by Aaron Jed Rabena / Originally Posted at IAPS Dialogue

Hailed as one of Forbes Magazine’s 2016 most powerful people, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines continues to draw international attention by virtue of his unorthodox domestic policies and foreign policy reconfiguration. Duterte’s war on drugs, which has resulted in the death of thousands, has been denounced by the Philippine political opposition as well as Western states and institutions for alleged human rights abuses and rule of law violations. Internationally, Duterte has emphasized a preference for an independent foreign policy. This coincided with the deterioration in Philippine-U.S. relations amid calls by the Obama administration to stop drug-related extra-judicial killings. Continue reading “A Balanced Philippine Foreign Policy: Managing Relations with Major Powers”