Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress
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.
Dec 21 , 2015
Legal fixation on West Philippine Sea islands limits Philippine action and fails to take into account evolving realities and dynamics, notably increasing U.S.-China competition that blurs and shifts alliances, compelling smaller powers to be more cautious and contributing to overall regional anxiety and instability.
Nov 16 , 2015
The Philippine’s theme of this year's APEC Summit is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World.” Like the case for China's 2014 hosting, this 2015 agenda reflects clear Philippine domestic imperatives. As a major labor exporter, the Philippines will work well with the topic of investments in human capital development.
Sep 11 , 2015
National security concerns in the U.S. and China have been used to bar certain types of foreign investments. Subjecting a legitimate commercial deal to arbitrary and protectionist exercises may only invite a similar action by the affected state, thus creating a potential spiral adverse to foreign investments.