The Philippines-China Row Heats Up

October 10, 2023

On this episode of the China Global podcast, the relationship between the Philippines and China, and some of the flashpoints therein (especially in the maritime realm), will be discussed.

Since taking office in June 2022, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has pursued a strategy of “being a friend to all and an enemy to none.” He has tried to maintain close economic ties with China, signing 14 cooperation agreements when he visited Beijing last January, including an updated Belt and Road Initiative memorandum. He secured over $22 billion in investment and trade deals. But the maritime disputes between the Philippines and China are becoming more contentious, and Manila is pushing back against Chinese pressure in new ways.

Host Bonnie Glaser is joined by Richard Heydarian to analyze the bilateral relationship and especially the maritime flashpoints. Heydarian is a columnist at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines, and a policy adviser. His most recent book is The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Global Struggle for Mastery.

Episode Highlights:

[01:36] Changes in Sino-Phillipine Relations

[09:05] Tensions Between the Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine Ships

[14:23] Pushing Back Against China

[20:55] China, the Philippines, and the Warship

[25:05] Future Relations with China

[29:30] The Philippines and a Taiwan Strait Conflict