Last September 12-13, 2016, Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation Inc. (APPFI) partnered with the University of the Philippines Asian Center in hosting a delegation of four scholars from the China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). The delegation visit is a part of the Memorandum of Agreement between UP and CICIR in 2014, aiming to intensify and reap the benefits of academic and Track 2 diplomacy exchanges. Dean Joefe Santarita of the Asian Center delivered welcome remarks. This is the first exchange between the university and the Chinese think tank after the release of the arbitration results regarding the maritime claim overlaps of the two countries in the South China Sea. It will be recalled that the arbitral tribunal last July 12 issued an award that was perceived to largely favor the Philippines, and which China has said it would not accept.

20160912ACCICIR© Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation Inc.: UP Professors and government representatives on a rountable discussion on Philippines China relations, led by APPFI President Aileen Baviera, CICIR Vice President Fu Mengzi and Asian Center Dean Joefe Santarita.

Dr. Antoinette R. Raquiza attended the Russia-ASEAN University Forum, held on 1-2 September 2016 at the Far Eastern Federal University campus in Vladivostok upon the invitation of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) and Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). The Forum was aimed at promoting shared development and security, academic cooperation, as well as greater cultural understanding between Russia and the Southeast Asian countries.

A hectic schedule was what APPFI President Prof Aileen Baviera prepared for when she left for New Zealand at the end of August. The main event was the first Conference on National Security organized by Massey University on August 30, where she presented her analysis of geopolitics in the South China Sea. Prior to that, host Rouben Azizian of Massey University arranged for a roundtable chaired by distinguished professor Nicholas Tarling at the Asia Institute of Auckland University, at which three international speakers including Prof Greg Barton of Deakin University, Dr Tang Lan of China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations, and   Dr Baviera of the U.P and APPFI, were invited to share thoughts on ISIS and radicalization, cybercrime, and the South China Sea respectively. From Auckland, the speakers flew to Wellington where Prof David Capie hosted a similar roundtable organized by Asia New Zealand Foundation and the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, held at Victoria University of Wellington.

The University of the Philippines Asian Center, under its Bugkos Program headed by Dr. Antoinette Raquiza (who is also APPFI’s Vice-President), partnered with Fudan University’s Center for China’s Relations with Neighboring Countries (CCRNC), to organize a conference on the theme “Prospects and Challenges of Philippines-China Relations, Moving Forward”. The conference aimed to assess the status of relations and identify opportunities for greater cooperation between the two countries. It was held at Fudan University’s sprawling campus in Shanghai on August 26.