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Julio Amador III | June 1, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

At the sidelines of the APEC Leaders Meeting in Manila on 18 November 2015, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed the Joint Declaration on Australia-Philippines Comprehensive Partnership. In general, the comprehensive partnership agreement merely formalizes what has been a close and strong working bilateral relationship between the two sides.

What the comprehensive partnership is all about

Roland Simbulan | June 1, 2016

TWENTY years have passed since the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEA-NWFZT) was signed, on Dec. 15, 1995 in Bangkok by all the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. Designated as the "Bangkok Treaty", the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty was entered into force (EIF) on March 28, 1997.

The first Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty after the Cold War, the Bangkok Treaty is considered a model for regional de-nuclearization. According to Dr. Hiro Umebayashi, Director of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition of Nagasaki University, this is because "it applies not just to territories but includes in its coverage Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves." It also prohibits the dumping or discharge of radioactive material or nuclear waste in its area of coverage. This is why, predictably, even today, all the five Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) which include Russia, the U.S., China, U.K. and France refuse to sign its Protocols. But are the states of Southeast Asia, genuine Nuclear Weapons-Free states today?

Ricardo Roy Lopez | May 30, 2016


The role of statesmen in the conduct of foreign policy is one that has often been overlooked in IR due to the focus on systemic and material theorizing. This commentary provides insights into the views of senatorial and presidential candidates in the upcoming Philippine elections on the issue of Sabah, a territory which was the subject of a historical dispute between the Philippines and co-ASEAN member state Malaysia. It is argued that the positions Filipino leaders take on Sabah have the potential to influence future bilateral relations between the two countries.

Richard Javad Heydarian | May 24, 2016 | Source: RSIS


Contrary to his reputation as a foul-mouthed provincial statesman, the Philippines’ incoming president Rodrigo Duterte may very well end up as a sophisticated and nuanced geopolitical player over the South China Sea disputes and oversee the revival of Philippine-China relations.


Rommel Banlaoi | May 20, 2016 | Source: RSIS


The rise of Rodrigo Duterte as the Philippines’ new president promises to have an impact on the South China Sea dispute between Manila and Beijing. Will he change Manila’s stance towards China or will he be as hardline as his campaign rhetoric suggested?


Mary Fides A. Quintos | May 10, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

Explaining Chinese actions in the Woody Island in the Paracels, on 17 February 2016, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that the deployment of surface-to-air missile launchers as well as a radar system is a limited but necessary national defense facility for the exercise of its rights to self-defense under international law.

Laura Q. Del Rosario and Julio S. Amador III | April 29, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

After the successful hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, what is next for Philippine economic diplomacy in 2016? The presidential election in May 2016 provides an opportunity for the country to assess and recalibrate its policies to achieve the national interest. In the Department of Foreign Affairs, one policy that has been emphasized and will continue to be important is the promotion of our economic security through economic diplomacy.

The Philippine economy in 2016

Richard Javad Heydarian | January 27, 2016
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Kuan-Hsiung Wang | January 26, 2016
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Julio S. Amador III and Jeremie P. Credo | January 1, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

At the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Manila in November of 2015, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh signed the strategic partnership agreement on behalf of their respective governments on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting between President Benigno S. Aquino III and Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang.

This strategic partnership is expected to go beyond the security dimension and urges the Philippines and Vietnam to cooperate more closely in areas that will deepen the ties between them.


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