Category Archives: Philippines

Vietnam and the South China Sea’s Roiled Waters; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0015/2017 Courtesy: Policy Forum Shining a spotlight on Vietnam’s militarisation in the Spratlys Vietnam’s military activities in the South China Sea, while not on the same scale as China’s, pre-date them considerably and are squarely aimed at maintaining a balance of power in the region. On 11 January US Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson sparked a media storm in China during his confirmation hearing when he responded… Read Article →

Military Modernization and Capacity Building in the Philippines and Vietnam; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0014/2017 Courtesy: Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Introduction This paper focuses on force modernization and capacity building in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) from the 1990s to the present. This paper is divided into five parts. Part one provides a historical background to force modernization in both countries during the period from the 1990s to around 2010 and… Read Article →

South China Sea: From Turbidity to Semblance of Tranquility; By Cmde. R. S. Vasan

CAS article no. 0158/2016 Courtesy: National Maritime Foundation The unfolding events in the South China Sea (SCS) in the last one decade plus has been tumultuous to say the least. The year Code of Conduct (CoC).[1]was signed in Cambodia (2002) can be taken as the bench mark year when the members of the ASEAN and China agreed on prescribed methods for preventing escalation of conflict over territory and resources. It… Read Article →

After the Ruling: Lawfare in the South China Sea; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0130/2016 Courtesy: The Diplomat In April 2012, around a then-relatively unknown shoal off the coast of the Philippines’ largest island of Luzon, the Philippine Navy apprehended several Chinese fishing vessels. Though it was not known at the time, this incident at Scarborough Shoal would simmer into a major stand-off between the Philippines and China over the ensuing months, eventually sparking the contemporary period of tension and geopolitical… Read Article →

South China Sea Arbitration ruling: A chance for India to rev up its foreign policy; By Asma Masood

CAS article no. 0122/2016 Courtesy: Chennai Centre for China Studies On July 12 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague delivered its verdict on the case brought by Philippines countering China’s claims in the South China Sea. The court ruled as follows[1]: China has no historic rights within the nine-dash line. Besides, land features in the Spratlys were judged to be mere rocks and not islands, thus… Read Article →

South China Sea Arbitration – Likely Fallouts; By Bhaskar Roy

CAS article no. 0121/2016 Courtesy: South Asia Analysis Group  The much awaited ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea (SCS) case brought by the Philippines against China over disputed maritime claims finally came on July 12, at The Hague. Manila had taken the case to the tribunal in 2013, following Beijing’s overbearing and aggressive attitude in its territorial waters.  China declined to contest… Read Article →

South China Sea and the MEA’s ambivalence; By Shastri Ramachandaran

CAS article no. 0119/2016 Courtesy: DNA India The South China Sea dispute is now headed to the next level of power play. The award of the Arbitral Tribunal set up under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) on the dispute between the Philippines and China has gone against China. In awarding the Philippines jurisdiction over most of the waters of the Spratly Islands, the… Read Article →

The Unfolding Dimensions of Recent Developments in South China Sea; By Commodore R. S. Vasan IN (Retd.)

CAS article no. 0072/2016 Courtesy: Chennai Centre for China Studies The initial reaction of the USA to review its invitation to China to participate in the forthcoming  Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), conducted biennially, could be seen as a response to the turning away of the request to dock an aircraft carrier in Hong Kong earlier this month. However, USA has invited China to join in the forthcoming edition claimed… Read Article →

South China Sea: China’s Plans for Scarborough Shoal; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0057/2016 Courtesy: Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, April 13, 2016. Q1. Do you expect China to carry out land reclamation at Scarborough Shoal as it has in the Spratlys, and if so to serve what purpose (another airstrip or just a radar station and a lighthouse)? ANSWER: There are strong indications that China is going to act pre-emptively at Scarborough Shoal prior to the decision of the Arbitral… Read Article →

After Natuna Incident, South China Sea Tensions Likely to Get Worse Before They Get Better; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0046/2016 Courtesy: The Diplomat  Indonesia is set to follow a passive and dependent policy in the region. A recent high-level visitor to China told The Diplomat that he detected a new sense of urgency in Beijing to complete its consolidation of control over the South China Sea before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal hands down its decision on the claims made by the Philippines against China. At the… Read Article →