“Domestic Politics and Manila’s Policy on the South China Sea” was the title of a presentation Dr. Baviera delivered at a Conference on New Dynamics in the South China Sea Disputes, organized by the China Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School for International Studies in Singapore on November 28, 2016. The China Foreign Affairs University was a co-organizer of the event, which brought together scholars and experts from Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and China. From the discussions, it could be gleaned that while the countries that competed with China did not appear to have a grand strategy on how to manage the South China Sea, China had a clear vision that included defense modernization, economic initiatives under the framework of its 21st century Maritime Silk Road, and rejection of the arbitration ruling. In her presentaion, Dr Baviera highlighted elements of the political system, political culture, and traditional relationships that continue to shape Philippine foreign policy alongside changes that appear to be emerging under the Duterte administration.

©Development Academy of the Philippines

PASIG CITY (November 24) –  “You should not underestimate the whole spectrum of Russia-China relations”. These were the words of Dr. Viktor Sumsky, Director of the ASEAN Center of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, as he talked about how enduring the Russia-China relationship can be, even if the US should take a potentially drastic foreign policy shift under a Trump presidency. This was in response to the question on what would be the political basis of ties between Moscow and Beijing should the US revert to an isolationist foreign policy.

“You should not underestimate the factors of mutual gravitation which exist irrespective of the United States. And I’m talking here about the whole spectrum between us and China,” Dr. Sumsky said.

For the second year in a row, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung co-organized with the Asian Institute of Management and the Foreign Service Institute a conference on “Maritime Challenges in the Asia Pacific: Moving Towards Political, Environmental, and Functional Cooperation.” This was held on 18 November 2016 in Makati City. DFA Assistant Secretary Hellen de la Vega delivered opening remarks on behalf of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay, Jr. who was out of the country. Presentors included experts from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

A regular media forum in “kapihan style”, Roundtable@Lido is hosted by veteran journalist Melo Acuna on Wednesdays at the Lido Cocina Tsina on Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City. Last November 9, APPFI President Aileen Baviera was among the guests invited to speak about the impact of Duterte's foreign visits & potential effects of either a Clinton or Trump presidency on the Philippines. The other guests included Mr Jose Custodio, Commodore Rex Robles, and former Ambassador jose Apolinario Lozada, Jr.