South China Sea

Perspectives on Naval Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian region is situated in a unique strategic environment that is shaped by the Pacific maritime domain. It is home to maritime nations sitting astride vital sea lines of communication and trade in the Asia-Pacific, with vast water resources and minerals, and oil and gas reserves. Shipping traffic through Southeast Asia is several times greater than the traffic…


Is there a WIN-WIN for China, Philippines, US, etc.?

PART 1 of 2 In the aftermath of the recent award (or ruling) by the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, new opportunities in our foreign relations have opened up which might lead to win-win solutions for the Philippines, China, U.S. and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Before getting into the national events…


Ice-Breaking During Global Warming

Recently, in his good luck year (meaning age 88), FVR was unexpectedly designated by President Rodrigo Du30 as “Special Envoy” with the mission to “break the ice” between China and the Philippines – whose traditionally friendly relations had turned chilly, if not cold, with the 12 July 2016 ruling (award) by the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration about issues in…


UN Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Ruling on South China Sea

THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ARBITRATION (The Republic of the Philippines V. The People’s Republic of China) The Hague, 12 July 2016 The Tribunal Renders Its Award A unanimous Award has been issued today by the Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the “Convention”) in the arbitration instituted by the Republic…


Joint Development on the West Philippine Sea

During the China-ASEAN Dialogue between Senior Defense Scholars held at Beijing, China on 11 – 15 March 2008, I presented a paper on Confidence-Building Measures Towards Greater Regional Stability. Military modernization in China was being perceived in a way that caused concern to some countries which fear a repeat of the arms race during the Cold War on one hand…


US President Obama speech to US and Filipino soldiers at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Philippine Vulnerabilities in its Rift with China

“[Beijing is] building a Great Wall of sand over islands claimed by several countries. China’s pattern of provocations toward smaller claimant countries on the basis of the sweeping 9-dash Line which is inconsistent with international law, and the wide asymmetry between China’s capabilities and of her weak neighbors, raises serious questions about Chinese intentions.”


G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Continuing Uncertainties

Part I: MILITARY DANGERS AND ECONOMIC RISKS “War is the worst option. Peace is the common goal of all mankind…” — Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” Taiwan’s major newspaper, China Post’s headline on 06 April augured bad news for all of mankind because it announced a huge rise in military spending by countries around the world, thus: “Global military spending…


Capt. Sibala and Pres. Obama

On 17 November, US President Barack H. Obama visited the Philippine Navy’s flagship, US-made BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the first US Coast Guard Hamilton Class 3,250-ton frigate combatant ship that was transferred to the Philippines in 2011. The second frigate was transferred in 2012, and named BRP Ramon Alcaraz. President Obama spoke with Captain Vincent Sibala PN (USNA’93) on the…