Philippines-China standoff exacerbates tensions in South China Sea

Gregory Poling, John Blaxland, & Bill Hayton

In today’s Expert Series, we analyze recent developments in the South China Sea. Our expert panel, featuring Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House, Gregory Poling, Senior Fellow and Director, Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, CSIS, and John Blaxland, Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies at Australian National University, examines the implications of escalating tensions between the Philippines and China at the Second Thomas Shoal. The experts discuss territorial disputes in the South China Sea, China’s military build-up on its artificial islands, the regional impact of China’s maritime ambitions, the role of forums like the quad, and how Canada can draw lessons from allies such as Australia in managing its relationship with China and the region.

The panel offers a comprehensive overview of recent tensions and their broader implications, including the recent China-Philippines incidents, the territorial claims of various nations in the region, the historical context underpinning these tensions, the significant influence of great power competition, particularly the rivalry between the United States and China, and the implications for Taiwan. The panel also addresses potential strategies aimed at promoting cooperation in the South China Sea.

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