Advertisement

The US-Philippine-China Triangle: From Equi-balancing to Counter-Balancing amid the South China Sea Disputes

  • Richard Javad Heydarian
Chapter
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)

Abstract

The chapter looks at the triangular relationship among the Philippines, the United States (US), and China, against the backdrop of the South China Sea disputes. More specifically, it examines how the Philippine foreign policy toward the two great powers, China and the US, has evolved in recent decades. First, it briefly looks at how the Arroyo administration (2001–2010), intent on diversifying the Philippines’ foreign relations in the post-Cold War period, tried to reduce the Southeast Asian state’s dependency on the U.S. by reaching out (2004–2008) to Beijing, giving birth to what many saw as a “golden age” of Philippine-China relations. Second, it looks at how the succeeding Filipino administration, under President Benigno Aquino, abandoned equi-balancing in favor of aligning with the US against an increasingly assertive China, which stepped up its maritime jostling in the South China Sea from 2009 onwards. The shift in the Philippines’ posturing coincided with the introduction of the US Pivot to Asia (P2A) policy in 2011, marking a qualitative shift in the strategic complexion of the triangular relationship, with Manila and Washington ramping up their military alliance—culminating in the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)—to check China’s territorial designs in the South China Sea. The chapter examines the nexus between domestic political shifts, especially within the Philippines, and regional geopolitical developments, especially in the South China Sea, to trace the dialectics of the triangular relationship.

Keywords

China Philippines US Aquino administration Arroyo administration 

References

  1. Anderson, B. (1987). Old corruption. London Review of Books, 9(3), 3–6. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://www.lrb.co.uk/v09/n03/benedict-anderson/old-corruption.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, B. (1999). From miracle to crash. London Review of Books, 20(8), 3–7. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from http://www.lrb.co.uk/v20/n08/benedict-anderson/from-miracle-to-crash.Google Scholar
  3. ASEAN Affairs. (2010). China-Philippines trade declines 30 % in 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/trade/china_philippines_trade_declines_30_in_2009.
  4. Batongbacal, J. (2015). Arbitration 101: Philippine v. China. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Issue 6, January 2014.Google Scholar
  5. Bello, W., Kinley, D., & Elinson, E. (1982). Development debacle: The World Bank in the Philippines. San Francisco, CA: Institute for Food and Development Policy.Google Scholar
  6. Bello, W. (2006). Dilemmas of domination: The unmaking of the American. New York: Holt Paperbacks.Google Scholar
  7. Bello, W. (2010). From American lake to people’s Pacific in the twenty-first century. In S. Shihematsu & K. Camacho (Eds.), Militarized currents: Toward a declonized future in Asia and the Pacific. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. Burke, N. (2013). UNCLOS annex VII arbitration—Who, what, where, when? Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law. Retrieved from http://cjicl.org.uk/2013/03/25/unclos-annex-vii-arbitration-who-what-where-when-2/
  9. Colmenares, N. (2008, March 17). Spratlys deal unconstitutional: Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking void. GMA News.Google Scholar
  10. Dimacali, T. J. (2010, December 8). WikiLeaks: China might pressure PHL on US ties. GMA News.Google Scholar
  11. Esquerra, C., & Burgonio, T. J. (2014, April 29). No firm commitment from US to defend PH. Philippine Daily Inquirer.Google Scholar
  12. Feickert, A. (2006, January 20). U.S. military operations in the global war on terrorism: Afghanistan, Africa, the Philippines, and Colombia. Congressional Research Service.Google Scholar
  13. Graver, J. (1992, December). China’s push through South China Sea. China Quarterly. Google Scholar
  14. Heydarian, R. J. (2010, December 16). The China-Philippines-U.S. triangle. Foreign Policy in Focus.Google Scholar
  15. Heydarian, J. (2012, October 10). China splits Philippine politics. Asia Times.Google Scholar
  16. Heydarian, R. J. (2014a, October). NoyNoy stumbles: How Aquino lost his way. Foreign Affairs.Google Scholar
  17. Heydarian, J. (2014b, May 1). The Philippines-China-U.S. triangle: A precarious relationship. The National Interest.Google Scholar
  18. Heydarian, J. (2015a). The China-Philippines-U.S. triangle. Washington, DC: Foreign Policy in Focus, Institute for Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  19. Heydarian, J. (2015b). The diplomatic implications of the Philippines-China arbitration. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Issue 6, January 2014.Google Scholar
  20. International Crisis Group. (2012). Stirring up the South China Sea (II): Regional responses. Retrieved January 1, 2014, from http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/files/asia/north-east-asia/229-stirring-up-the-south-china-sea-ii-regional-responses.pdf.
  21. Jacques, M. (2012). When China rules the world: The end of the Western world and the birth of a new global order (pp. 342–406). New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  22. Kissinger, H. (2011). On China. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  23. Kurlantzick, J. (2007). Charm-offensive: How China’s soft power is transforming the world. New York: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Lamother, D. (2014, April 29). U.S. commando mission in Philippines getting overhaul. Foreign Policy.Google Scholar
  25. Legaspi, A. (2014, April 28). US, PHL sign agreement for increased US troop presence. GMA News.Google Scholar
  26. Lourders, N. M. (2006). Post-EDSA Philippine foreign relations, 1986–2001. In N. Morada & T. E. Tadem (Eds.), Philippine politics and governance: An introduction. Quezon City: University of the Philippines.Google Scholar
  27. Mendoza, A., & Heydarian, J. (2012). Member country: Philippines. ASEAN-CHINA free trade area: Challenges, opportunities, and the road ahead. Monograph No. 22, National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
  28. Mishra, P. (2013). From the ruins of empire: The revolt against the West and the remaking of Asia. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  29. Mogato, M. (2014, May 2). Philippines to give U.S. forces access to up to five military bases. Reuters.Google Scholar
  30. Morada, N. (2006). Philippine foreign relations after September 11 (2001–2005). In N. Morada & T. E. Tadem (Eds.), Philippine politics and governance: An introduction. Quezon City: University of the Philippines.Google Scholar
  31. Moravcsik, A. (1997). Taking preferences seriously: A liberal theory of international politics. International Organization, 51(4), 513–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Philippine Daily Inquier. (2008, July 18). Most unpopular leader. Inquirer.Google Scholar
  33. Pomfret, J. (2010, July 30). US takes a tougher tone with China. The Washington Post.Google Scholar
  34. Putnam, R. (1988). Diplomacy and domestic politics: The logic of two-level games. International Organization, 42(3), 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ross, R. (2012, November/December). The problem with the pivot. Foreign Affairs, 91, 70–81.Google Scholar
  36. Sanger, D. (1991, December 28). Philippines orders U.S. to leave strategic navy base at Subic Bay. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  37. Schmitt, E. (2002, January 16). U.S.-Philippine command may signal war’s next phase. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  38. Sheehan, N. (1989). A bright shining lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  39. Shirk, S. (2008). China: Fragile superpower. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Song, Y. (2010). The application of article 121 of the law of the sea convention to the selected geographical features situated in the Pacific Ocean. Chinese Journal of International Law, 9(4), 663–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Whaley, F. (2014, October 22). U.S. marine’s arrest in killing in Philippines may test ties. The New York Times.Bello, W. et al. (1982) ‘Development debacle: the World Bank in the Philippines’, Institute for Food and Development Policy, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceCollege of Liberal ArtsManilaPhilippines

Personalised recommendations