Capital Punishment To Return To The Philippines Soon

President Duterte continues to push for the reintroduction of the death penalty in the Philippines for crimes including rape, murder, and the sale, production or import of narcotics. This is part of a trend of Duterte’s in which he attempts to push through increasingly draconian anti-drug laws, including a bill […]

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 […]

Populism And Staying Power

Introduction 2016 has been a year when world politics has turned upside-down. The electoral success of many populist leaders around the world, whether in the developing or the developed world, has overturned many of the post-WWII conventions regarding politics and democracy. Populism is when politicians claim they derive legitimacy directly […]

Death Tolls From Duterte’s War On Drugs On The Rise

  President Duterte’s war on drugs has now surpassed 6,000 casualties, according to Manila-based news website Rappler.  Of that figure, over 2,000 suspected drug suspects were killed in police operations, while nearly 4,000 were killed by unidentified gunmen.  However, many of these unknown perpetrators are being accused of being part […]

Broader Implications Of US Relations With China Under A Trump Presidency

Following US President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and lashing out on twitter over China, Chinese-US foreign relations seem to be on a rocky course going into a Trump Presidency. Both analysts and leaders from both Beijing and the White House are concerned over the possible […]