MANILA, Philippines – National Security Adviser and former military chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr said China has to do more to win the trust of countries in the region.

"China still has to persuade Southeast Asia that it has a vision of regional order that will be beneficial to its neighbors – both the smaller states and other big powers. That China can accommodate norms and rules that underpin the global power," Esperon said in an international workshop that discussed the great power competition between US and China. 

It's the latest statement from the Philippine official – who had been a vocal supporter of the country's warming ties with Beijing – that raises growing concerns about China's actions. In October, Esperon also expressed dissatisfaction with China's response to the country's diplomatic protests with regards to alleged incursions of Chinese military in the country's territorial waters.

Last November 25, Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress, with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Regional Programme, organized an International Workshop on Southeast Asian Regional Cooperation Amidst Great Power Competition. The workshop discussed how the regional security and economic environment of Southeast Asia is changing as a consequence of these developments, and the options and scenarios for regional cooperation facing the governments and peoples of ASEAN. The event also marked Pathways’ chairmanship this year of the ASEAN-Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) network.

Pathways fellows Julio Amador III, Dr. Charmaine Willoughby, and Dr. Aries Arugay present findings of their paper “Quad to Zero? Filipino Perceptions of the Quad, the Indo-Pacific, and the Alliance System”.

Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation Inc. fellows Dr. Charmaine Willoughby, Dr. Aries Arugay and Mr. Julio Amador III presented findings of their latest paper to policy makers,  academics, and members of the diplomatic corps last September 20, 2019 at the Zuellig Building Makati City.

The paper is based on an online survey of 228 Filipino strategic thinkers, scholars, and practitioners on their perceptions of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between Japan, Australia, India, and the United States, specifically about its relevance and possible role in national and regional security policy. 

Pathways and the delegation from CIIS.

On 9 September 2019, a delegation from the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) headed by Dr. Wang Youming visited the Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation Inc. (APPFI) for an exchange of views on Philippine-China relations.