Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

China Intensifies SE Asian Diplomacy Amid U.S.-Philippine Exercises

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) hugging Cambodian leader (and father of the current Prime Minister) Hun Sen. Image: Pool / AFP

Tensions are high in the South China Sea as the Philippines kicks off its annual Balikatan joint military exercises with the United States. The opening ceremony of the three-week, 17,000-troop operation took place on Tuesday, aimed at “highlighting [the] ironclad alliance” between Washington and Manila, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The exercises will also include France and Australia.

In response, China is signaling its own regional relationships. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Cambodia on Monday. His Cambodian counterpart, Chenda Sophea Sok, told reporters that his government doesn’t appreciate “troublemaking in the region by extraterritorial forces.”

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.