China’s Diplomatic Strategy and Expanding Philippines-China Political Cooperation

by Jed Aaron Rabena / July 12, 2017 / Originally Posted at CPIanalysis

In On War (1832), Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military theorist, wrote that, “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.” Conversely, military diplomacy may be said to be political cooperation by different means or that military cooperation is an extension of political consensus. During World War I, the United States, although maintaining the “principle of armed neutrality,” supplied arms to the British against the Germans, which was seen by many as a highly symbolic political act. One may thus argue that military diplomacy is not only about signaling benign and pacifist intentions, but also has to do with sending political messages to third-party states. In fact, defense and military cooperation may be the most credible barometer of the current state of political relations because security ties reflect the existing level of strategic trust and confidence between two nation-states. Continue reading “China’s Diplomatic Strategy and Expanding Philippines-China Political Cooperation”

Dutertismo and the West Philippine Sea: Year One

by Jay Batongbacal/ July 6, 2017 / Rappler

Despite its apparent benefits, Duterte’s policy has not generated any assurance that China will not impose itself and its pre-emptive claim over waters and resources thatlegally pertain to the Philippines
Continue reading “Dutertismo and the West Philippine Sea: Year One”

Deconstructing Duterte’s West Philippine Sea policy

by Lucio Pitlo III , June 27, 2017 / Originally posted at APPFI

President Duterte had been criticized for appearing soft in defending Philippine national interests in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), especially in the face of his decision to expand cooperation with a fellow disputant and potential external security threat. Such criticism largely rests on two key assumptions: 1) that asserting the country’s landmark victory in the 2016 arbitration decision is the best way to defend the country’s WPS interests and canvassing regional and international support is the best way to pressure China into compliance and; 2) maintaining robust or even deepening security relations with the US is the best deterrence against Chinese expansionism in the tightly contested strategic and resource-rich sea. Continue reading “Deconstructing Duterte’s West Philippine Sea policy”

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.

Emerging Consistencies in Philippine Foreign Policy Amidst Continuing U.S.-China Frictions

by Lucio Pitlo III / Apr 27 , 2017 / Originally Posted at ChinaUSFocus

Although critics often point to the apparent discrepancies and unpredictability in Philippine foreign policy as expressed by its chief architect, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, several emerging consistencies can be gathered. In the same vein as other countries that opted not to spell out the specifics of their foreign policy strategy, especially on critical and sensitive issues, in order to have ample room for maneuver and negotiation, these incipient consistencies have yet to be formally articulated in a coherent form, more so applied in reference to a certain foreign policy priority. Although not definitive, an appreciation of some of these nascent consistencies can give one a better outlook of the continuously evolving Philippine diplomacy. Furthermore, beyond his infamous rhetoric which surely played a lot in getting him Times’ 2017 Most Influential Person Award, Duterte’s actions, by and large, resonate as regional responses to the brewing US-China tussle. Continue reading “Emerging Consistencies in Philippine Foreign Policy Amidst Continuing U.S.-China Frictions”

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”

Mutual Gains, Not Shared Values: The New Normal in International Relations?

by Lucio Pitlo III, March 21, 2017/ Originally Posted at AllChinaReview

Much talk about the evolving global political and economic landscape largely ignores the major underlying factor driving this transformational shift, namely the growing emphasis on mutual gains rather than shared values as a fundamental basis for state relations. Shared values is losing its appeal and several reasons account for it. Continue reading “Mutual Gains, Not Shared Values: The New Normal in International Relations?”