Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress
Aug 22 , 2017
ASEAN meetings almost always generate expectations of raising the South China Sea (SCS) disputes to the point where the success of the meeting boils down to how tough the adopted language is in the final official statements. Considering the breadth and depth of issues covered by ASEAN in its annual meetings, such reduction is unfortunate and unfair.
Jun 22 , 2017
As things stand, with four more years of the Trump Administration, China will have the field wide open for its continued ascent into global power. However, China should be wary of the dangers posed by overconfidence, great power chauvinism and a growing sense of entitlement that unbridled nationalism and unchecked leadership may breed.
Jun 05 , 2017
The first meeting of the biannual bilateral consultation mechanism to manage the South China Sea disputes, which is hoped to have a positive cascading effect on the early conclusion for a regional Code of Conduct on the disputed sea. Hints of possible cooperation in non-traditional security can be gleaned from President Duterte’s interest to welcome Chinese presence in the Sulu Sea to help address maritime piracy and armed sea robbery.
Apr 27 , 2017
Although many criticize Philippine President Duterte’s apparent flip-flopping and unpredictable foreign policy, a careful look will reveal several emerging consistencies in evolving Philippine diplomacy, notably expanding economic ties with China, downplaying security ties with U.S., and managing regional disputes. Furthermore, given evolving regional and global dynamics, President Duterte’s foreign policy ambiguity reflects regional state practice and may actually benefit the Philippines.
Nov 16 , 2016
Under Duterte’s administration, the Philippines are moving toward major policy shifts, particularly in regards to U.S. and China relations. China is an emerging outbound investor with a demonstrated financial, technological, and engineering capacity to accomplish major infrastructure projects, such as railways, which can have a transformative impact on Philippine economic development. The U.S. has become a quieter ally in the region, and other regional states have long been diversifying both their economic and security partners to spread risk and to avoid getting entangled in big power tussles. Duterte is following these initiatives now, as well.
Oct 17 , 2016
Track II diplomacy’s results remain mixed, but it takes only one successful attempt to provide concrete and specific agenda items for formal talks. It is within this lens that the Ramos-Fu August 2016 meeting in Hong Kong could be appreciated.
Aug 15 , 2016
Connectivity is a shared interest for China and Southeast Asia, and the Maritime Silk Road represents part of the continuing efforts to highlight this. Southeast Asia is important for China’s neighborhood and periphery diplomacy; hence the management or resolution of regional concerns represents a continuing challenge for Chinese foreign policy.
Jul 18 , 2016
All eyes are on the Philippines and China to see how these two states will behave now that a milestone decision on the three-year landmark dispute case has been rendered. From the Philippines’ side, it is important to decouple national interests from great power rivalry or from abstract principles like freedom of navigation. The arbitration decision may not compel China to action in the immediate term, but will contribute to lingering suspicions about China’s real intentions in its near seas.
Apr 19 , 2016
Lucio Blanco Pitlo III compares China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative with the U.S.'s Rebalance to Asia, ultimately advising that for the U.S. to be seen as not reacting to China's growing regional influence, it would need a better appreciation of the security needs, growing aspirations, and economic demands of rising powers.
Mar 09 , 2016
With its thriving economy, accelerating integration and evolving challenges to the security environment, ASEAN is destined to become an increasingly important region of the world. Its population is bigger than the combined population of the U.S. and Japan, and it represents a major frontier market.