Philippines


Deteriorating US-China Relations And The Battle For The South China Sea

On March 6, 2017, North Korea tested its ballistic missiles, continuing with the expansion of its nuclear program and disregarding the Trump administration’s threat to undertake military action if Pyongyang does not comply with international laws regarding nuclear proliferation. A US naval carrier was recently dispatched to establish a presence in […]


Extrajudicial Killings And Human Rights Abuses In The Philippines: What Can Australia Do?

In previous weeks, I have discussed the human rights concerns over the ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines, and how Australia can improve its own human rights record. This report will build on and converge these ideas to investigate how Australia can advocate for and improve human rights in Southeast […]


China’s Friendlier Face To The World At The 12th National People’s Congress

The 12th National People’s Congress of China brought about some important announcements regarding China’s foreign policy directions. Given the recent troubles in the region, China aimed to send out a positive message to its neighbours. Much of the messages and the principles behind them are not completely new, but were […]


A New Approach To The Ongoing South China Sea Disputes

The Issue Rival nations have grappled over territory in the South China Sea for decades, but tensions have steadily risen in recent years. China, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims over the Paracel and Spratly islands. This is a dispute over territory and sovereignty which coincides […]


Trump And The Asia-Pacific

While the world’s attention is fixed on the fiasco of Trump’s Muslim ban, there have been interesting developments regarding Trump’s policy towards the Asia-Pacific.  Trump has apparently called the Chinese President Xi Jinping and backtracked on his earlier threat to renegotiate the One China policy. This is the first phone […]


“War on the Poor”: Human Rights Groups Condemn Duterte’s Anti-Drug Campaign

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his “war on drugs” this week, after a “pause” was announced in the controversial anti-drug operations. On January 30, 2017, Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa declared that the Philippine government would cease anti-drug operations, in […]


Barriers To Peace: Ending The Communist Insurgency In The Philippines

For the past several decades, the Philippines have experienced an ongoing insurgency. The communist insurgency in the Philippines is one of the longest running insurgencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. This conflict has claimed more than 30,000 lives since its beginning. The communist party started its armed struggle in the late […]


Tillerson’s Comments On South China Sea Needlessly Antagonistic

Rex Tillerson’s comments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are causing an unnecessary escalation of tensions between the US and China. President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State has declared that island building must cease, and China should be barred from accessing the islands it currently controls in the […]


Shinzo Abe’s Visit To Southeast Asia, Return Of Cold War Style Diplomacy?

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the 13th of January, began his four-nation speed tour of Southeast Asian nations. The Japanese prime minister dined at the Filipino president’s private residence at Davos and agreed to a $9 billion USD investment package and $5 million worth of patrol boats with the […]