An enduring Japan-Philippines strategic partnership

On July 13, the foreign secretaries of the Philippines and Japan reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the two countries following the first Philippines-Japan Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting or 2+2 in Tokyo earlier this year.

Under various government leaderships, diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan have remained strong since its establishment in 1956. Read More

Philippines-France defense partnership: Fortifying a new tide of maritime security in Indo-Pacific Region

This year, France and the Philippines mark 75 years of diplomatic ties. As France navigates its role as a formidable Indo-Pacific power, Manila celebrates its enduring bilateral relationship with Paris. The 1947 Treaty of Amity inked in France made robust the two countries’ bilateral relations for their mutual benefit.

While the Philippines remains confronted with maritime challenges, a strategic partnership with France can fortify a new tide of maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region. Read More

The 21st Century Philippine Navy: The challenge of building capabilities amidst unfilled expectations

For three months in 2012, the Philippines engaged China in a dangerous standoff near Scarborough Shoal. This maritime incident between the two countries began on April 10 when the Philippine Navy dispatched its flagship, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, to Scarborough Shoal to apprehend eight Chinese boats allegedly illegally fishing in this land feature. Both countries were claiming this feature.

At the onset of the standoff, China immediately had the upper hand when it used a civilian vessel to force a Philippine Navy surface combatant to back away and withdraw from the shoal. More significantly, the standoff also exposed the Navy’s weakness. Read More

France in the Indo-Pacific: An inclusive and stabilizing mediating power

Much has been said about the Indo-Pacific in the contemporary geopolitical and strategic discourse. Although there are varying views about its definition and geographical scope, global powers have started to recognize its growing importance and role in shaping the international order.

For instance, the United States, Japan and Australia have integrated the concept of the Indo-Pacific into their regional engagement and strategic interests. Similarly, the European Union (EU) has also adopted an Indo-Pacific strategy to recalibrate its geopolitical outlook and establish a coordinated approach to the region. Read More

Fortifying France-PH ties in Indo-Pacific

The balance of power and the dynamics between states in the Indo-Pacific have continued to shift due to the region’s evolving security landscape. Power shifts, territorial disputes, and potential conflicts prompt states to recalibrate their existing policies based on the perceived and real impact of these developments on their economic growth and national interests. Moreover, emerging security challenges highlight the critical importance of multilateral cooperation in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Over the years, regional players such as France have become a contributory force for stability in the Indo-Pacific. Read More