Overall, while the emerging Filipino-Vietnamese axis alone is unlikely to dramatically alter China’s present strategy in the South China Sea, it is increasingly clear that Beijing’s aggressive behavior is inspiring an expanding alliance of like minded states across Asia and beyond.
Richard Javad Heydarian is an Assistant Professor in international affairs and political science at De La Salle University, and has served as a foreign policy advisor at the Philippine House of Representatives (2009-2015). As a specialist on Asian geopolitics and economic affairs, he has written for or interviewed by Al Jazeera, Asia Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Diplomat, The National Interest, and USA TODAY, among other leading international publications. He is the author of How Capitalism Failed the Arab World: The Economic Roots and Precarious Future of the Middle East Uprisings, and the forthcoming book Asia’s New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for the Western Pacific. You can follow him on Twitter:@Richeydarian. Truong-Minh Vu is director of the Centre for International Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City. He is co-editor of the book Regional Power Shift in the Making? The Rise of China and the South China Sea Disputes (Springer, forthcoming in 2015).
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Army and Weapons