As conflict between the Philippines and China continues over maritime territory, the future of fisheries in the disputed area has become a key question.
South China Sea
With China’s recent incursions into the South China Sea, the Philippines is taking a stronger stance to protect its maritime territories.
As China grows more assertive in the South China Sea, Vietnam has started seeing the country as a major threat. Beijing risks pushing Hanoi into America’s orbit if it continues to play hardball.
Biden’s effort to sell his return to multilateralism benefits from a clearly-defined national security threat; luckily for Biden, Trump already found one.
The past few months have seen growing engagements between India and Vietnam. While China’s aggression remains a common concern, for India this is also an opportunity to reset its engagements with ASEAN after opting out of the RCEP in November.
Vietnam’s successful response to COVID-19 appears to be giving way to a rapid recovery, drawing international attention to the country’s leadership both domestically and on regional issues for Southeast Asia.
ASEAN remains a key player in Southeast Asia’s diplomatic architecture. However, a growing debate on the expulsion of member states may divide the grouping deeply.
In the past, the “Quad” of Australia, India, Japan and the United States has been unable to offer ASEAN anything concrete to back up its alleged aim of building a rules-based international order. As the forum rapidly becomes an anti-China block, it may push ASEAN further away.
Washington wants Southeast Asia to stand up to China to defend the region’s economic and security interests. Will the region’s political leadership adhere to the United States calls?
Russia’s status as a major arms supplier in Southeast Asia will have a significant impact on the region’s geopolitical landscape.