On March 11, delegates from Kalinga International Foundation, led by their Chairman, Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, met with Pathways to discuss India's bilateral ties with Southeast Asian countries and the changing geopolitical landscape in the Indo-Pacific. The discussion mostly focused on the possibilities and opportunities of enhanced interactions and partnerships between India and the Philippines, security issues in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, and better cooperation and interaction between Indian and Southeast Asian think tanks. The delegates were very eager to listen to Philippine perspectives on the region's security issues, and offered insights based on similar issues from the Indian subcontinent region. They also shared their perspectives on India's increased engagement with Southeast Asia and the United States' Indo-Pacific Strategy. Another topic of discussion was the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad 2.0, an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia, and India. Widely viewed as a response to the increasing economic and military power of China in the region, the Quad was revived in 2017 after China's recent actions in the South China Sea. Despite being revived in the sidelines of the 2017 ASEAN Summits in Manila, ASEAN has not articulated a unified position on the revival of the Quad and its role in Southeast Asia, nor has the Philippines released its position on the matter.

On February 26, Pathways met with a Global Times delegation led by the editor-in-chief Hu Xijin to exchange views about Philippines-China relations. The discussion focused on the South China Sea disputes, infrastructure cooperation, and the prevalence of online gaming in the Philippines, whose target market are Chinese mainlanders. The negative perception towards misbehavior of some Chinese in the Philippines was also brought up during the exchanges. The delegation was eager to learn about how Filipinos see China given the above mentioned developments in their relations.

On 12 February 2019, Pathways was joined by Dr David Camroux, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at SciencesPo, for a conversation on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Indo-Pacific concept. His visit was part of an EU-funded project titled Competing Regional Integration in Southeast Asia (CRISEA).

Joining the conversation were Dr Aileen Baviera, Dr Gilbert Llanto, Dr Charmaine Willoughby; Mark Manantan; and Grace Guiang.

Photo Source: Ateneo School of Government

Leading experts of the Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress gave their respective views on the evolving partnership between the U.S. and the Philippines during the conference on “The Future of the Philippine-American Bilateral Relationship” held last 7-8 February 2019 at the Manila Peninsula. The conference, organized by the U.S. Embassy, The Asia Foundation, and the Ateneo de Manila School of Government, covered wide-ranging issues from assessing the status of the U.S.-Philippine Alliance, countering violent extremism, responding to regional challenges, increasing maritime security cooperation, enhancing trade and investment, as well as boosting technology and Innovation. The US government, through its Deputy Assistant State Secretary Walter Douglas, also provided a policy perspective on its Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy.