Full Circle: Duterte's South China Sea Policy Four Years Later


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When: Jul 10 2020 - 10:00am until Jul 10 2020 - 11:00am
Where: Zoom Webinar

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to the
60 Minutes for the EWC 60th Anniversary Alumni Seminar Series:

Full Circle: Duterte's South China Sea Policy Four Years Later


Dr. Jay L. Batongbacal
(EWCW Fulbright Fellow, 2014-2015)
Executive Associate Dean &
Director Institute for Maritime Affairs & Law of the Sea,
University of the Philippines College of Law

Dr.  Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East West Center in Washington

Four years into his administration, President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy pivot and accommodation of China in the South China Sea (SCS) disputes appears to Dr. Jay Batongbacalbe a dismal failure. Despite conceding to demands and granting unsolicited bonuses to Beijing, Duterte has precious little to show for his generosity and friendship. Beijing has not reciprocated his overtures and failed to fulfill promises and pledges of investment, development aid, and infrastructure assistance. With two years left to this term, and a pandemic raging through the country due to his failed leadership, what crisis and/or opportunities remain for the Philippines and China? Professor Batongbacal quickly reviewed and critiqued the outlines of Duterte's SCS policy, identified its fundamental shortcomings, reviewed the recent remedial steps taken by the professional bureaucracy, and attempted to identify the remaining pathways for Philippine-China relations over the SCS.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the East-West Center and its mission to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. The East-West Center in Washington (EWCW)’s 60 Minutes for the EWC 60th Anniversary Alumni Seminar Series  highlights the work of EWCW alumni/ae who have participated in our fellowship, publication, dialogue, and conference programs.

Jay L. Batongbacal is a lawyer from the Philippines with graduate degrees of Master of Marine Management and a Doctorate in the Science of Law from Dalhousie University (Canada). He is currently the Executive Associate Dean of his alma mater, the University of the Philippines College of Law, and Director of its Institute for Maritime Affairs & Law of the Sea. Mr. Batongbacal is one of Southeast Asia's better-known commentators and scholars on the South China Sea disputes, and an awardee a US-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative Research Fellowship which he undertook with the East-West Center in Washington, DC from November 2014 to March 2015.

Satu Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia-Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang