ASPI Webinar: The changing nature of Philippines-US defence relations
ASPI is delighted to invite you to the webinar discussion: 'The changing nature of Philippines-US defence relations'
On 11th February this year, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced the unilateral decision to terminate the US government’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the Philippines which was established in 1998. The agreement has provided the legal framework for the US military and its equipment to be deployed to, maintained in and operated from the Philippines. This decision generated much controversy and questioned some core principles of the US-Philippines alliance. If materialised, it would have a larger regional implication for the wider Southeast Asia and strategic contingencies in the South China Sea.
On 1st June however, with no warning, the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs wrote to the US Embassy stating that ‘in light of political and other developments in the region’ the termination was suspended. While nothing is certain beyond the suggested 6 months suspension of the Philippine withdrawal, it underlines how the Duterte administration's relationships with both the US and China are unpredictable.
Join ASPI's Dr Huong Le Thu for a discussion with Dr Jingdong Yuan, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Dr Malcolm Cook, Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and John Powers, Executive Director of Intel Dynamics, moderated by ASPI’s Dr John Coyne.
The webinar will explore the reasons for and possible impacts of Duterte’s defence policies, including the approach to the VFA, and consider whether it could generate geopolitical and economic opportunities for Australia.