Newsletter Issue 2, sr. 2021
The fifth edition of Philippine Maritime Matters reflects on recent geopolitical developments on top of the pandemic's persistence particularly China's enactment of its new Coast Guard Law.
This has reverberating consequences within the Philippines and across the ASEAN region. In the face of this development, the Philippines must advance its bilateral relations with China with greater care as it is now caught between the advent of a newfound Chinese maritime coercion and China's vaccine diplomacy. This also means regional upsets in China's relationship with the ASEAN and Western powers such as the U.S. ASEAN must negotiate the code of conduct with China the soonest as the new law heightens tensions abroad. These can only mean heightened major power struggles as the U.S. enters the fray, reinforcing and shoring up its Indo-Pacific alliances. All these as the Philippines is embroiled once more in a spike of COVID-19 cases unseen since 2020.