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Philippines Pushing for Permanent Structure on Second Thomas Shoal

The Philippine parliament is reportedly calling for funding to construct a permanent structure on the Second Thomas Shoal (known as the Ayungin Shoal in the Philippines and Ren’ai Jiao in China.) The atoll is at the heart of competing territorial claims between the two countries. ...

Philippines and Chinese Coast Guard Face Off Again in South China Sea With the U.S. Air Force Overhead

The Philippines Coast Guard and Navy successfully outmaneuvered a Chinese blockade to bring food and other provisions to a remote outpost in the South China Sea -- but not before several harrowing confrontations with Chinese vessels that appeared determined to prevent the Filipino vessels from passing.

How Chinese Maritime Forces Tried to Blockade a Philippines Re-Supply Mission in the South China Sea

In this image taken by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), seven Chinese vessels, including unmarked "maritime militia" ships, surrounded a pair of PCG ships during a re-supply mission on Friday.

ASEAN Talks with Major Powers Navigate Numerous Controversies

China’s Premier Li Qiang warned against a ‘new cold war’ as the ASEAN summit moved on to a series of talks between the bloc and its partners. Calling for ways to "appropriately handle differences and disputes," Li said: "At present, it is ...

New Prominence for Premier Li Qiang as Xi Skips Summits

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is gaining unexpected prominence thanks to the fact that he is standing in for President Xi Jinping at this week’s ASEAN and G20 summits, where he'll represent the PRC in the same room as people like U.S. President Joe Biden.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Unpacking Han Zheng’s Messaging to the Global South at the UN General Assembly

China’s Vice President Han Zheng addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Along with retreads of established Chinese positions on Taiwan, Ukraine, and the Israel/Palestine conflict, his comments also provided interesting clues about China’s messaging to the Global South.
First, he called on the international community to “follow the direction of a multipolar world” with the UN at its center. I wonder how opinion within Beijing’s inner circles breaks down around the bipolarity/multipolarity issue, considering ...

Premier Li Qiang Tries to Reassure China’s Southeast Asian Neighbors in ASEAN Address

Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang sought to soothe tensions with its neighbors in Southeast Asia during his keynote address on Wednesday at the ASEAN leaders summit in Jakarta. Li did not specifically reference the recent confrontations with the Philippines in the ...

While ASEAN Diplomats Converge in Jakarta, Major Powers Conduct Joint Military Exercises Across Southeast Asia

Whether by coincidence or design, three Southeast Asian countries launched high-profile joint military exercises this week with various major powers while leaders from these countries met in Jakarta for the ongoing ASEAN summit. On Sunday, the Chinese and Thai navies kicked ...

ASEAN’s Hyper-Focus On Economic Growth Won’t Make Geopolitical Tensions Go Away

Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year leans heavily towards spurring economic growth, believing that the focus on the more “neutral” subject would unite the group.  In these economic efforts, ASEAN has been consistent in its messaging about working with all partners, because ...

Did Indonesia Support U.S. Criticism of Beijing’s Actions in South China Sea?

An interesting dispute has emerged from U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto last week. According to the Pentagon readout from the joint press conference following the meeting, they committed to working together for regional stability and ...

China’s “Aggressive Behavior” in the South China Sea Must be Checked, Says U.S. Navy’s Top Pacific Commander

The United States Navy is ratcheting up the pressure on China over recent confrontations between the Chinese Coast Guard and Philippines maritime forces in the South China Sea. "You've got to push back," warned the U.S. Navy's top commander in the ...
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