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Analysis

A Vietnam ‘Base’ for Russia?

Last week, a senior Russian defense official made headlines when he was reported as indicating that Moscow was considering plans to reopen key bases it had during the Cold War, including in Vietnam and Cuba.

In the early 2000s, Russia had scaled back its military presence globally, eventually closing bases at the Lourdes signal intelligence station in Cuba and Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay naval base, a deep-water harbor in central Vietnam along the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

THE EU, THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, AND CHINA’S SUCCESSFUL WEDGE STRATEGY

China’s economic statecraft has softened the resolve of some EU member-states and groomed them to advocate Beijing’s position on the South China Sea.

The slow erosion of Europe’s values as well as inability to come together and speak with one voice on rule of law contributes to the unraveling fabric of global governance. Beijing’s successful wedge strategy in Europe is the ultimate win without fighting.[READ MORE]

Xi Jinping: Where Does the Power Come From?

The first until 1978, broadly covering the Maoist era, saw mass campaigns, Utopian visions guiding social development, and an ideology based on class struggle.

After 1978, in the reform and opening up era, the focus shifted dramatically to making economic development and material improvements through marketization, privatization, and opening to the outside world. [READ MORE]

The Philippines Is About to Give Up the South China Sea to China

Next week Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who took power in late June, will make his first state visit to China.

Of course he’s hoping for a bonanza of loans and trade deals. What he’s not expecting or demanding: the return of Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012, sparking demonstrations by Filipinos around the world. [READ MORE]

South China Sea Disputes Are On Duterte's China Agenda Ahead of Visit, But to What Ends?

Speaking on Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told an audience of local government officials that the country should not “dwell on Scarborough Shoal.”

According to a translation of his Tagalog remarks posted by Rappler, Duterte said the Philippines should not dwell “because we don’t have the capabilities.” “Even if we express anger, it will just amount to nothing. We can’t back it up,” Duterte added. [READ MORE]

Behind Duterte’s Bluster, a Philippine Shift Away From the U.S.

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to expel American troops from the Philippines, accused the C.I.A. of plotting to kill him and insulted President Obama with an obscenity.

But beyond the blasts of hyperbole — he recently compared himself to Hitler — lies a real and potentially historic shift in Philippines foreign policy. [READ MORE]

Russia Seeks to Reopen Military Bases in Vietnam and Cuba

MOSCOW — Russia is working to re-establish its former military bases in Vietnam and Cuba, a senior official said on Friday, reflecting Moscow’s growing ambition to reassert itself on the world stage.

The official, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai A. Pankov, spoke at the national Parliament shortly before lawmakers voted to ratify an agreement with Syria to make the Russian military presence there permanent. [READ MORE]

Majority of Chinese Worry Territorial Disputes Could Bring Military Conflict

The Pew Research findings released Wednesday came from a selection of questions asked to more than 3,000 Chinese people earlier this year.

China has been locked in a long-running dispute with countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia over territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China's claim to nearly all of the area in July. [READ MORE]

Why ASEAN is in Disarray in the South China Sea

Once celebrated as a model multilateral organization and an agent of positive regional change, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is in disarray.

On July 12, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued a judgment on the South China Sea that is widely seen as a victory for ASEAN member the Philippines over China.

An End to U.S.-Philippine Defense Cooperation?

“This year would be the last,” Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, said Friday of the countries’ joint military exercises.

Addressing the U.S. directly, he said: “For as long as I am there, do not treat us like a doormat because you’ll be sorry for it. I will not speak with you. I can always go to China.” [READ MORE]

China–Vietnam relations: past sovereignty and sea

Geopolitics is often seen through a telescopic lens: with intense focus in one spot with the rest entirely out of view. That often seems to happen to nations’ relations with China.

The US and China are a good example. Much of the conventional wisdom says that they’re competing for hegemony in Southeast Asia and, if you listen to Donald Trump, over trade. [READ MORE]

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