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Monday, April 22, 2024

Does Vietnam-Philippines Maritime Cooperation Offer a Template for the Region?

While differences remain, the two nations are experiencing an increasing strategic convergence on the South China Sea.

The recent state visit of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Hanoi was the latest sign of the growing strategic convergence between the Philippines and Vietnam regarding maritime security and the South China Sea. Building on a range of past efforts, both leaders confirmed an agreement on coast guard cooperation and a future bilateral code of conduct for the South China Sea. Marcos also invited Vietnam to participate in the multilateral naval exercise MARPOLEX in the Philippines later this year, alongside Indonesia and Japan.

This convergence of views between the two countries comes at a time of heightened tensions in the South China Sea, generated by a growing Chinese assertiveness and its use of an ever-growing set of area denial capacities, hybrid warfare techniques, and grey zone tactics. This has resulted in a string of dangerous incidents around several Philippine-claimed features, such as Scarborough Shoal, Second Thomas Shoal, Whitsun Reef, Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal, and in and around Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, either near Triton Island or in the Vanguard Bank area.

Despite this shared threat, the Philippines and Vietnam haven’t always seen eye to eye on the disputes in the South China Sea, where their own outstanding maritime and territorial disputes have inhibited maritime cooperation for many years. This was a subject of tension after normalization in 1976, which took place shortly after Saigon’s surprise takeover of Southwest Cay in the Spratly Islands the previous year. This helped prompt then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, the father of the current Philippine leader, to publish a Presidential Decree in 1978, formally establishing the Philippines’ claims in the Spratly Islands.

Read the rest of the story at The Diplomat, here.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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