Philippines foreign policy and security

15 OCTOBER 2019

Philippines Conducts Maritime Exercises with US, Japan and Australia

The Philippines launched large-scale maritime drills on Wednesday with allies the United States and Japan near disputed areas in the South China Sea, military officials said Tuesday, amid heightened concern about Beijing’s military influence in the region

4 OCTOBER 2019

Duterte seeks deeper ties with Latin America, Africa, Central Asia

“In the remaining three years of my term, we will likewise expand the horizon of Philippine diplomacy by deepening our engagement in Latin America, Africa and Central Asia,” Duterte said

29 AUGUST 2019

Duterte Meets Xi, Raises Arbitral Ruling on South China Sea Disputes

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the eighth time in three years, during which he raised the issue of the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, officials said

29 JULY 2019

China-Philippines military ties ‘vital to bilateral relations’ says Chinese ambassador

The military-to-military relationship between China and the Philippines has become an important part of the bilateral relations, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said on Monday

21 JUNE 2019

Philippines to Monitor China Telecom For Spying, Cybersecurity Threats

The Philippines will be monitoring China Telecom’s upcoming operations in the country for spying and other cybersecurity threats, Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 20

18 JUNE 2019

Filipinos burn Chinese flags in protest against Duterte’s ‘weak’ response to South China Sea sinking

Demonstrators in Manila on Tuesday burned Chinese flags in protest over what they said was a “weak” response by President Rodrigo Duterte to the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat in the South China Sea

12 JUNE 2019

Philippines slams suspected Chinese vessel for ‘contemptible’ sinking of fishing boat

The boat hit an anchored Filipino craft, the F/B GIMVER 1, on Sunday near Recto Bank – claimed by both Manila and Beijing causing it to sink and leaving 22 crewmen “to the mercy of the elements”, said Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

7 JUNE 2019

Why Philippines is building military base near Taiwan

How the Philippine military’s efforts to build a defence zone in northern Philippines can greatly influence other territories in the South China Sea

20 MAY 2019

Philippines prefers Chinese cash rather than US ‘strategic confusion’ in South China Sea, says foreign minister

The US is projecting “strategic confusion” in the South China Sea, the Philippines’ top diplomat said, prompting the country to deepen its ties with China

2 MAY 2019

How Does the Philippines Balance itself between US and China?

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. visited China between March 18-21, 2019. During his visit, Locsin said that the Philippines would consolidate mutual political trust with China, deepen cooperation in various fields, and jointly explore ways to promote maritime cooperation, peace and stability and continuously push for new progress in the Philippine-China relations. The Chinese side also expressed its willingness to focus on promoting the four areas and stepping up Philippine-China relations to a new level

25 APRIL 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tries to smooth over South China Sea tensions in meeting with China’s Xi Jinping

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tried to play down tensions over the South China Sea and restated his support for Beijing’s contentious global infrastructure and trade plan as he courted Chinese investment on his latest visit to the country

11 APRIL 2019

Philippine, US troops train for invasion scenario on island adjacent to South China Sea

Philippine and US troops on Wednesday (Apr 10) conducted their first joint airfield seizure drill on an island adjacent to the South China Sea, aimed at helping the Southeast Asian country deal with any potential island invasion

8 APRIL 2019

Russian warships arrive in the Philippines amid rising South China Sea tensions

The destroyers Admiral Tributs and Vinogradov — classified as “large, anti-submarine ships” — docked in Manila early Monday, along with the Admiral Irkut, a “large sea tanker

United States will be the Philippines’ only military ally, foreign chief Teodoro Locsin says amid South China Sea tensions

The United States will remain the Philippines’ only military ally, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr said, amid an increased Chinese presence near a disputed island in the South China Sea

5 APRIL 2019

South China Sea: Duterte warns Beijing of ‘suicide missions’ to protect disputed island

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Beijing to back off from a disputed island in the South China Sea, warning of “suicide missions” if China touches it

1 APRIL 2019

Philippines Protests Over Chinese Vessels in Disputed Waters

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over the presence of more than 200 Chinese boats near an island occupied by Manila in the disputed South China Sea, the president’s spokesman said on April 1

21 MARCH 2019

Two former Philippine ministers file case in ICC against China’s island-building in South China Sea

Two former Philippine government officials have filed a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) holding China’s President Xi Jinping accountable for a massive island-building push in the South China Sea which they charged has led to “the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity’s history”

6 MARCH 2019

Philippine Defense Chief Calls for Review of Defense Treaty with US

The Philippines should review an outdated defense treaty with the United States and avoid unnecessarily being dragged to war in case of conflict between Washington and China over the South China Sea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said

31 JANVIER 2019

China eyes a strategic port in the Philippines

A sudden and unexpected bankruptcy has provided China with a unique opportunity to win control of a Philippine port facility at Subic, the former site of US military bases that were closed in 1991 amid a surge of anti-American nationalism at the end of the Cold War

12 DECEMBER 2018

Philippine Congress Extends Martial Law in Mindanao Region

Philippine legislators approved an extension of President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law for one more year in the southern Mindanao region Wednesday, following claims from security officials that militants linked to Islamic State continued to pose threats

27 NOVEMBER 2018

Xi-Duterte deals stir a furor in the Philippines

Chinese President and Philippine leader entered 29 new agreements that opposition critics claim lack transparency and could undermine sovereign interests in the South China Sea

21 NOVEMBER 2018

What Xi did and didn’t give Duterte

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines heralded a new ‘strategic partnership’ but failed to deliver vowed billions of dollars of aid and investment

20 NOVEMBER 2018

China and Philippines sign oil and gas exploration deal as Xi Jinping meets Rodrigo Duterte


Netanyahu warmly welcomes Philippines’ Duterte to Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a warm welcome to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday at the start of an official visit, despite being criticized for embracing a leader accused of human rights abuses in his deadly drug crackdown

31 AUGUST 2018

Philippines informs China of grounded frigate amid sea feud

The Philippines notified China about a Philippine navy frigate that ran aground in the South China Sea to avoid any misunderstanding because the incident happened near a hotly disputed region, three Philippine officials said Friday

15 AUGUST 2018

US hands over sophisticated military gear to Philippines

The United States has handed over sophisticated, aircraft-borne electronic equipment to the Philippines, which will allow its armed forces to monitor the country’s maritime domain from as far as 200 kilometres away

5 JUNE 2018

Philippines, South Korea sign 4 agreements to boost relations

South Korea has offered the Philippines $1 billion in official development assistance to help finance President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program

29 MAY 2018

Philippines, China draw ‘red lines’ in South China Sea dispute

Both the Philippines and China have identified actions that would be deemed unacceptable in the South China Sea, the Philippines’ top diplomat said Monday

2 MAY 2018

Philippines gets new Israel missiles to boost naval capabilities

The Philippines has completed the purchase of its first-ever ship-borne missile systems as part of a military modernization program and for the expansion of its naval capabilities in the disputed South China Sea

19 APRIL 2018

Philippine-US war games expanded to include Japan, Australia

Annual US-Philippine military exercises involving thousands of troops will be expanded for the first time to include other countries, with Japanese and Australian forces invited to join what will be the 34th edition of the war games

23 MARCH 2018

US foreign policy is failing in the Philippines

In spite of the United States’ renewed focus on great power competition in the 2018 National Defense Strategy,the war against terrorism will remain salient to US strategy. In few places is this clearer than in the Philippines

14 MARCH 2018

Duterte withdraws Philippines from International Criminal Court

Outspoken Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte made the controversial decision to withdraw his country from the International Criminal Court amid a probe into alleged crimes against humanity in his brutal anti-drug crackdown that has killed thousands

12 MARCH 2018

Duterte goes to war with UN as he threatens to throw rights team to the crocodiles

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fuelled an extraordinary war of words with the United Nations by saying that their human rights team should be fed to crocodiles if they came to investigate his controversial war on drugs

French Navy ship visit to Philippines shows France commitment to security, freedom of navigation

The visit of a French Navy’s light patrol frigate to the Philippines shows France as a “Pacific power” that is committed to “security” and adherence to the principle of freedom of navigation in Southeast Asia, officials said after the Vendmiaire docked at a port in Manila on Monday


Philippines President Duterte slams European Union as ‘stupid’, refuses summit invite after criticism of bloody drug war

President Rodrigo Duterte has angrily turned down an invitation to an Asia-Europe summit in Brussels as he again lashed out at the EU and accused the bloc of insulting him over his deadly war on drugs


Philippines on China military build-up: No war option

The Philippines has declared that war is not an option in resolving its dispute with China, which was found to have continued its military build-up in disputed South China Sea areas, declared by a UN arbitration court to belong to Manila


Examining the “Political Temperature” behind Philippines-China Relations

It is also important to note that China’s much-touted goodwill towards the Philippines and the rest of the region hinges on its bilateral relations. As Premier Li indicated, the increase or decrease in the “political temperature” is very important. For President Duterte, it is critical to maintain the warm temperature in Philippines-China relations for as long as he can, and not allow it to freeze again. As China presently benefits from this newly “thawed” relation, there is uncertainty and anxiety for the Philippines over the future costs of this warm reception

14 NOVEMBER 2017

Rodrigo Duterte calls Justin Trudeau’s questions about war on drugs an ‘insult’

The Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, attacked Canada’s Justin Trudeau at the end of a summit of Asian and western nations for raising questions about his war on drugs, a topic skirted by other leaders, including Donald Trump

13 NOVEMBER 2017

Trump-Duterte: US president hails ‘great relationship’

US President Trump has said he has a “great relationship” with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as the two met at a regional summit in Manila. The meeting got off to a rocky start with a group handshake gone awry

31 OCTOBER 2017

Is the Philippines’ Duterte playing China against Japan?

Although Tokyo offered financial support to Manila, Japan is in no position to rival China financially. Duterte knows this and is using the Beijing-Tokyo rivalry to his own advantage. Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo

17 OCTOBER 2017

Philippine President Duterte declares Marawi ‘liberation’ from jihadists

Philippine President Duterte has declared that Marawi city is now liberated from IS-linked jihadists. Rebuilding and rehabilitating the war-torn city will be a test case for Duterte, say analysts

16 OCTOBER 2017

Last leaders of Muslim militant siege in southern Philippines, killed in fighting

The two final surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines, including a top Asian terror suspect, were killed on Monday in one of the final battles by thousands of troops to retake the last area in Marawi city held by pro-Islamic State militants

15 OCTOBER 2017

Duterte says he refused British aid, ready to lose Europe

The Philippine president said he has asked his finance secretary to reject an unspecified British financial aid package and that he’s ready to cut diplomatic ties with all European countries critical of his deadly anti-drug crackdown

9 OCTOBER 2017

Philippines apologises to China for using Taiwan logo at ceremony

The Philippines apologised to China on Monday for a “grievous but purely unintentional” mistake after it displayed the logo of the defence ministry of Taiwan, not China, at an event marking Beijing’s donation of 3,000 rifles to Manila.

29 AUGUST 2017

Islamic State: Australia offers to send Special Forces to help fight IS in Philippines city of Marawi

Australian Special Forces soldiers could soon be deployed to the Southern Philippines to help local forces fight Islamic State (IS) militants in the country’s south

3 JULY 2017

Philippines, US security alliance still holds

President Rodrigo Duterte’s bid for an independent foreign policy, the Philippines’ security partnership with long-time ally US remains firm, with the two countries freshly concluding a coordinated patrol exercise in the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao

1st JULY 2017

US, Philippines Navy Ships Patrol Sulu Sea

The United States and Philippine navies held a joint naval patrol Saturday in dangerous southern Philippine waters, amid rising international concern about Islamist militancy and piracy in the region

10 JUNE 2017

US commandos helping Philippines troop battle Islamist militants in Marawi

Special forces are providing support to the Philippine military battling to dislodge Islamist militants in a southern city, the US embassy said Saturday, as 13 Filipino marines were killed in fresh fighting

1 MAY 2017

Duterte visits Chinese warships in hometown Davao in first Philippines port call since 2010

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday visited Chinese warships docked in his hometown, highlighting fast-warming relations despite competing claims in the South China Sea

30 APRIL 2017

Donald Trump invites Rodrigo Duterte to White House in ‘warm’ phone call as Chinese ships arrive in the Philippines

US President Donald Trump invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House, telling the Philippine leader during a phone call that he is interested in developing “a warm, working Relationship”

27 APRIL 2017

Indonesia-Philippines sea border pact ratified

Indonesia’s Parliament on Thursday (April 27) ratified a landmark sea border agreement with the Philippines, which sets the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundaries between the two countries in the Mindanao and Celebes seas

21 APRIL 2017

Philippine defence chief visits disputed Spratly island

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana flew to a disputed South China Sea island on Friday (April 21), brushing off a challenge by the Chinese military while asserting Manila’s territorial claim to the strategic region

19 MARCH 2017

China too powerful to confront, Durterte says

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he could not stop China from building on a disputed shoal near his country’s west coast because it was too powerful

27 FEBRUARY 2017

Duterte plays a dangerous game in the South China Sea

Philippine president’s courting of China as he pivots away from the United States could reap dividends – or a military coup


Philippine communist rebels end ceasefire, accuses Duterte’s government of human rights abuses

The move comes after a third round of peace talks aimed at ending decades of bloodshed wrapped up in Italy last week with no deal on a permanent truce

16 JANUARY 2017

Philippines filed diplomatic protest over South China Sea buildup: Minister

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest with China, its foreign minister said on Monday, over Beijing’s installation last year of anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems on its manmade islands in the disputed South China Sea

10 JANUARY 2017

Duterte wants Mindanao peace, does MILF want it too?

Last week, armed rebels with links to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked a jail in the southern Philippines and freed their leaders. Are the group’s lower ranks getting frustrated with the ongoing peace process?

7 JANUARY 2017

Duterte asks Russia: Be Philippine ally and protector

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte continued his offer of friendship to Russia as he visited a Russian antisubmarine vessel docked in Manila

3 JANUARY 2017

Russian warships visit Manila in Moscow’s bid to hold maritime drills

Russia wants to hold maritime drills with the Philippines to help combat terrorism and piracy, sending two warships to Manila for the first official navy-to-navy contact, as President Rodrigo Duterte pivots to United States’ traditional rivals