The first half of 2019 witnessed a decline in the number of Chinese tourists visiting ASEAN nations. Countries like Thailand can look to India to fill the gap. In 2018, 1.6 million Indians visited Thailand.
Philippines Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration victory against China.
Being caught at the crossroad of great powers’ competition for sphere of influences, ASEAN has become a center of geo-political and geo-economic gravity of battleground. What is ASEAN’s outlook in the rising volatility and dynamism of the Indo-Pacific region?
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
There is no universal agreement on the interpretation of key provisions in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Indeed, important differences are emerging between Southeast Asian nations and the US regarding the theory and enforcement of freedom of navigation.
Three US Senators have reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. Its purpose is to “impose sanctions against Chinese entities that participate in Beijing’s attempts to assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions.”
In response to the dissolution of the main opposition and the perceived deterioration of human rights and democracy in Cambodia, the United States and European Union have taken measures in an attempt to reverse Cambodia’s democratic backsliding.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. visited China between March 18-21, 2019. Shortly after the visit, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo stated that the country has never shelved the South China Sea arbitration award.
The Philippines is undertaking a government-sponsored marine scientific expedition to the Spratlys area. While billed as an advance in scientific knowledge, it may be perceived to be a soft assertion of sovereignty.