Soon after, the Philippines and Australia began their first joint three-day sea-and-air patrols in the South China Sea to underscore what they say is a commitment to a “peaceful, secure and prosperous region”.
But this might be too little, too late. Vietnam is believed to be ramping up its dredging and landfill work in the Spratly Islands, creating an additional 330 acres of land since December last year, according to a US think tank report.
Citing the slow progress of the regional pact, the Philippines said it has approached neighbours such as Malaysia and Vietnam to discuss a separate code of conduct to ensure peace in the region.
Pressure mounts on China as Philippines says it will never give an inch
A view of Beijing as coercive and aggressive has the potential to push countries towards the West if it does not soften, analysts say
China ‘cannot keep shooting itself in the foot and then blame Manila or Washington for pulling the trigger’, says Wilson Centre fellow
“As I have said before, and I will say again, the Philippines will not give up a single square inch of our territory to any foreign power,” he told a forum in Honolulu on Sunday, according to his press office, without explicitly naming Beijing.
Is Philippines’ alliance building to counter China a ‘major naval war’ risk?
Apart from the US, the Philippines is expanding its military alliances with Japan, Australia and Germany amid growing tensions with China
Without more top-level talks between Manila and Beijing to ease tensions, analysts say both sides risk ‘miscalculations’ that could lead to war
From favourite to ‘forgotten’: Philippines’ sea dispute sees China pull funds
In scrapping US$5 billion worth of rail projects, the Philippines cited Chinese foot-dragging over financing rather than their squabbles at sea
But observers speculate it was Manila’s refusal to back down in the disputed waterway that had caused Beijing to hold back on the cash
What a 5-nation military exercise says about US strategy in the Indo-Pacific
Kamandag 7 marks heightened US interest in troop deployment in the region according to perceived challenges
The exercise sees the deployment of the Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, which allows the US to be first responder to any crisis in the Indo-Pacific region
An 11-day joint military exercise involving nearly 3,000 members of elite forces from the Philippines, United States, Japan, South Korea and Britain is under way and focused on “interoperability” to counter any crisis in the Indo-Pacific region, as geopolitical tensions mount in the south and east China seas.
“Kamandag 7” is part of a series of training exercises across Southeast Asia comprising 2,749 personnel, including 902 US marines. Some of the Americans hail from a newly created fighting unit, formed by the US last year to be the first responder in the Indo-Pacific.
China and US urged not to let disputes overshadow ocean governance efforts
An event in China’s Hainan province heard that the two must lead the way on international efforts to tackle problems such as piracy and climate change
China and a number of other countries in the region are embroiled in a series of long-running territorial disputes in the resource-rich waters
An event held on the Chinese island of Hainan earlier this month heard that progress will not be possible without cooperation between the two superpowers, who were urged not to let regional maritime disputes overshadow efforts to address issues such as piracy, climate change and other environmental threats.
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