Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 06:24 | SYDNEY
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Philippines

Assessing Duterte’s China investment drive

When President Rodrigo Duterte visited the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in October 2016, he came home with an agreement that earmarked US$24 billion worth of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) and overseas development aid for the Philippines. Many of the deals were eventually

Duterte’s China policy: beyond law

Many local and international observers have denounced Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s conduct towards China as “appeasement” after he took the view there was nothing the Philippines could do to stop China’s militarisation in the South China Sea. Duterte’s defeatist attitude,

Rehabilitating Marawi

Unfortunately for the Philippines, the country has a lot of experience rebuilding major urban areas after catastrophic natural disasters or man-made destruction. In 2013, Zamboanga City in Mindanao suffered widespread damage during a 20-day siege, and later Tacloban City was devastated by Super

South China Sea: the Philippine fissure

A new normal is evident in the South China Sea disputes. Last week, Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana revealed that China continues to exchange radio challenges and responses with Philippine aircraft patrols and resupply missions in the West Philippine Sea. With Manila keen to

Philippine troops to China?

Imagine this. China builds a military base on the Australian continental shelf off, say, Cairns. Then, according to the Australian prime minister, China threatens a military response should Australia attempt to exercise its maritime rights in accordance with a unanimous international

Duterte unchecked

Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, is a quarter of the way through his single six-year term under the current constitution. So far, he is changing the office of the president and the Philippine political system much more than it is changing him. The checks and balances that are

ASEAN summit should focus on the possible

Close observers of ASEAN's peak summitry often note the blandness of the final communiqués. The forum remains crippled by the consensus-based nature of decision-making and a policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states. So while some may talk up big statements on

Duterte’s mutually beneficial Japan trip

President Duterte returned last night from a three-day working visit to Japan, his second bilateral trip to Tokyo since taking office in June 2016. This visit took place only two weeks before Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will rub shoulders at the APEC meeting in Danang and Duterte

Marawi battle has implications for Australians

Recent terrorism-related developments in the Philippines could lead to an increased security threat to Australians in parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia. Earlier this year, ISIS had portrayed the Philippines as something of a success story to distract from its reverses

After Hapilon’s death and the ‘liberation’ of Marawi

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the 'liberation of Marawi', and the Philippines military says Isnilon Hapilon, the Abu Sayyaf militant seen as Islamic State group's leader in southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, another senior militant, are dead. But ISIS has not been wiped out in

Putting Duterte’s popularity in perspective

There is little doubt that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a populist. As I write in The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy, the Filipino leader has often presented himself as the voice of the people, the guardian of the nation, the shield against criminal

A test for Australia in Marawi

The continuing conflict in the southern Philippines has engaged Australia's regional counter-terrorism interests like never before. Few predicted that the siege of Marawi, now entering its fourth month, would be so intractable or so effectively galvanise existing terrorist and insurgency groups.

Has Marawi killed the Philippines peace process?

For years, the common wisdom about conflict in the southern Philippines was that the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was the best antidote to radicalisation. We all said it – analysts, activists, donors, diplomats, anyone who cared about making Mindanao a better place

With martial law in Mindanao, where next for the Philippines?

The shocking siege in Marawi City in the Philippines island of Mindanao this past week represents the apex of heightening violence between Islamic militants and counter-terror forces, alongside inevitable strong-arming from President Rodrigo Duterte. The declaration of martial law amid the bloody

How local politics is shaping The Philippines' foreign ministry

By Michael Coyne, an intern with the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program. It's been a strange few weeks at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. First, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay, a longtime friend of President Rodrigo Duterte with no foreign policy experience,

The Philippine senator taking on President Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte marked his first one hundred days at the helm earlier this month with sky-high approval ratings, the likes of which are unprecedented in Philippine history. Since his election, Duterte has become one of the world’s most talked about leaders, thanks to

South China Sea ruling sweeps away diplomatic ambiguities

Editor's note: We mistakenly published an earlier version of this article. This is the corrected text. Tuesday’s ruling by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea has bought a little clarity to the problems in the South China Sea, but it has not made solving the underlying problems

South China Sea: A course-correction needed

Tuesday's South China Sea adjudication demonstrates that the UNCLOS framework is totally unsuited to sorting out the complex conflicting claims in the South China Sea in a way that the relevant parties will accept. By effectively announcing the Philippines as winner and China as loser, the tribunal'

Japan's capacity building strategy at work in the Philippines

By Tom Holcombe, an intern with the Lowy Institute's International Security Program. An upcoming visit to the Philippines by a Japanese submarine and two destroyers underscores a deepening bilateral security relationship. Japan is reportedly planning to lease retired TC 90s to the Philippines (