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APR 8, 2024
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Why Should We Care About the U.S.-Japan-Philippines Trilateral Summit?
SeaLight Director Ray Powell and his co-host, former senior U.S. diplomat Jim Carouso discuss his week's upcoming U.S.-Japan-Philippines trilateral leaders summit with expert guests Chris Johnstone and Dindo Manhit.
APR 8, 2024
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Infographic: Chinese Provocations in the South China Sea
A quick-reference guide to South China Sea hotspots.
APR 6, 2024
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Why Should We Care about the Indo-Pacific?
SeaLight Director Ray Powell announces a new podcast with former diplomat Jim Carouso in which they unpack current Indo-Pacific events through the practical lens of, "Why should we care?"
APR 2, 2024
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The Philippines Chooses Non-Violent Direct Action
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
MAR 21, 2024
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Fifteen Chinese ships crowd Philippine outpost at Thitu Island (UPDATE: China says 34 Filipinos "thwarted" at Sandy Cay)
Satellite imagery from Planet Labs shows 15 People's Republic of China (PRC) vessels crowding a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship near the Philippine outpost at Thitu Island on 21 March 2024. Meanwhile a second PCG ship's patrol near Sabina Shoal has prompted the PRC to reinforce its Mischief Reef maritime militia fleet. UPDATE: In a separate report, state-controlled PRC media claimed that the China Coast Guard "thwarted" 34 Filipino nationals (likely environmental impact researchers) at Sandy Cay near Thitu Island.
MAR 19, 2024
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Lighting Up the Gray Zone: The Philippines-Taiwan Counter-Coercion Toolkit
Perry World House's Thomas Shattuck and Robin Garcia are out with an important new white paper which recommends the public release of visual information to counter China's coercive activities, using the Philippines and Taiwan as examples. As the champions of "assertive transparency", SeaLight enthusiastically welcomes this timely new scholarship!
MAR 11, 2024
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UPDATE: China's maritime militia has returned to Sabina Shoal
As of 4 March 2024, 21 vessels--likely belonging to China's People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM)--were "rafted" together at Sabina Shoal within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, a mere 75 nautical miles from the coast of Palawan. Another 5 were spotted just to their northwest on 6 March.
MAR 4, 2024
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Gray Zone Tactics Playbook: Pretext to Escalate
While other countries treat maritime incidents as crises to be deescalated, Beijing seizes upon them as pretext for calculated escalations, by which it means to reset the board in its favor.
FEB 16, 2024
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Resource Warfare on the High Seas
Failure to get serious about overfishing as a form of resource warfare will lead to depleted fisheries and collapsed marine environments which will exacerbate economic inequality, food scarcity and regional instability.
FEB 6, 2024
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The Philippines can't copy Vietnam's China policy
The threat China's maritime aggression poses to Philippine interests represents a more clear, present and unavoidable danger than that faced by its neighbors.

News & Articles

APR 20, 2024
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Comparing Gray-Zone Tactics in the Red Sea and the South China Sea
The Houthis’ activities in the Red Sea and the Chinese actions around Second Thomas Shoal have notable similarities in tactical conduct and adversarial responses.
APR 19, 2024
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Did US Ally Make 'Secret Agreement' With China? What We Know
China says the Philippines is neglecting its side of a behind-the-scenes bargain struck under the previous administration, complicating a territorial dispute in the South China Sea that has the potential to draw in Philippine ally the U.S.
APR 18, 2024
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Emerging U.S.-Japan-Philippine alliance is making waves in Asia
Last week's unprecedented White House summit of the leaders of the U.S., Japan and the Philippines put the spotlight on a new, informal alliance that could reshape Asia's security scene.
APR 18, 2024
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Chinese warships at Cambodian base for months, CSIS analysis shows
Two Chinese warships have been present at Cambodia's Ream Naval Base for much of the past five months, satellite images show, raising questions about the permanency of China's military presence at the facility.
APR 17, 2024
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Philippines plans ambitious exercise with U.S. as concerns over China grow
The Philippines and the United States are preparing to hold their most ambitious joint military exercise yet next week as tensions between the Philippines and China escalate in the South China Sea, according to more than a dozen officials.
APR 17, 2024
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Chinese militia boats painted white to look like coast guard —PCG
Chinese maritime militia vessels spotted at Bajo de Masinloc were found to be painted similar to their Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) counterparts.
APR 16, 2024
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Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte claims China threatened war over South China Sea if status quo not kept
Former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said Chinese President Xi Jinping had strongly warned him against drilling for oil in the disputed waters. Duterte said he understood that China would ‘go to war’ if the Philippines asserted its rights in the South China Sea.
APR 15, 2024
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A ‘New Trilateral Chapter’ for the United States, Japan, and the Philippines
President Joe Biden and his counterparts, Kishida Fumio and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., held the first-ever U.S.-Japan-Philippines trilateral summit on April 11. It was a manifestation of the importance of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, which emphasizes both military and economic security in cooperation with partners and allies. The Biden administration has emphasized that both economic and military support are necessary to ensure deep and resilient partnerships. That is especially true in this case, as the three leaders pledged to work toward a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific “for decades to come.”
APR 15, 2024
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China Intercepts US Ally's Ships Near Disputed Waters
China's Coast Guard intercepted and shadowed Philippine government vessels over the weekend in an effort to block them from operating within the U.S. ally's internationally recognized maritime zone.
APR 14, 2024
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Philippines may attract more security deals with its transparency campaign
The Philippines should expand its assertive transparency strategy at sea and go as far as encouraging its neighbors to carry out a similar initiative, which has enabled the Southeast Asian nation to secure key security deals in the face of an increasingly aggressive China, a geopolitical expert said.
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