Richard Javad Heydarian
May 09 , 2018
The 32nd ASEAN Summit, held in Singapore on April 27 and 28, saw the ASEAN adopting tough language against America’s trade protectionism, while pursuing further its blossoming relations with China.
Apr 24 , 2018
Richard Heydarian, recently returned from a trip to North Korea, argues that the Kim regime has returned to the negotiating table out of a fortuitous combination of greater confidence, mastery of the nuclear cycle, and vulnerability, as sanctions begin to undermine the economic viability of the country.
Mar 26 , 2018
In a telltale sign of improving bilateral relations, the Philippines and China have announced a preliminary agreement to pursue a joint development agreement in the South China Sea.
Mar 02 , 2018
Over the past year, the relatively obscure Benham Rise, a plateau located in the Philippine Sea, has progressively become a main point of contention between Manila and Beijing. Despite his best efforts, Duterte has struggled to convince the Philippine public to accommodate China’s perceived encroachment into Philippine waters.
Feb 02 , 2018
In recent weeks, Washington has stepped up its efforts to check Chinese maritime ambitions in the South China Sea. The Pentagon has stepped up its Freedom of Navigation Operations, while deploying Defense Secretary James Mattis to key Southeast Asian partners. With China emerging as America’s top national security concern, there are growing signs that the Trump administration’s South China Sea policy is finally taking shape.
Jan 11 , 2018
ASEAN has ably brought together former rivals and among the world’s most (ideologically and socio-economically) diverse nations under a single roof. Yet, with the rise of China and the demise of the old American-led order, the ASEAN is facing an existential moment, which may require strategic soul-searching and major institutional reforms.
Dec 22 , 2017
This year saw the emergence of two competing narratives vis-à-vis the territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The result is an even more combustible geopolitical landscape, where status quo power meets revisionist power rather than commonly accepted rules taming misplaced ambition.
Dec 05 , 2017
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wrapped up the 50th anniversary of its founding by finalizing a series of landmark agreements. Among them was the much-anticipated framework of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, which has been more than two decades in the making. Yet, upon closer examination, the diplomatic jubilation over the trajectory of COC negotiations rings hollow.
Nov 01 , 2017
After five months of intense firefights between government troops and Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militants, the Battle of Marawi is now effectively over. Yet, the specter of terror in Mindanao is far from over. The Philippines may have managed to contain, at least for the meantime, the prospect of an IS stronghold in its backyard, but religiously inspired extremism and violence will continue to haunt Mindanao for the foreseeable future.
Oct 17 , 2017
One of the biggest geopolitical shocks of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency is the dramatic realignment in strategic relations among Southeast Asian claimant states, particularly between the Philippines and Vietnam. What looked like a promising alliance-in-the-making has suddenly turned into low-intensity bilateral tensions, with the two protagonists openly clashing over how to best deal with the China threat in the South China Sea.