South China Sea: Philippines, US, Australia, Japan to hold joint drills

The United States, Philippines, Australia, and Japan will hold a joint exercise in the South China Sea on Sunday. A Philippine expert says the United States is playing a chaotic role in the region. Our reporter Huang Yue sits down with Anna Malindog-Uy, Vice President of External Affairs at the Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute, for an interview. 

HUANG YUE CGTN Reporter “How do you view the role of external actors, such as the United States, in the South China Sea issue? Some analysts said that only by escalating the tension between the Philippines and China can the United States advance its Indo-Pacific strategy. What’s your take on this?”

ANNA MALINDOG-UY Vice President of External Affairs of Asian Century, Philippines Strategic Studies Institute “I think the United States is playing a very chaotic role in the South China Sea. First and foremost, the United States is not even a signatory to UN clause, the United Nations convention on the law of the sea. So that’s even a very paradoxical kind of situation for the United States to interfere in the South China Sea. 

Second is it wants to preserve so called freedom of navigation. That’s more of their interests. It’s not the interests of my country. So if you look at it, the role that the United States playing, pushing my country, telling my country as if they will back the Philippines. When the time comes that, there will be skirmishes between China and the Philippines and it is making the whole South China Sea issue complicated. 

It is not a party to the dispute. Probably the behavior of the United States should be that it should not interfere. As a respectful country, probably they should refrain from interfering, let the claimant states like China and the Philippines resolve their own problem. 

The problem with the United States, it has its own interest. It’s using my country as a proxy and pawn in its Indo-Pacific strategy. And the battleground right now of this Indo-Pacific strategy is my country. My country is being used to push the interests of the United States and the Indo Pacific. And the problem only right now probably is the current administration is a willing pawn. I’m not saying that the Filipinos are the willing pawn. No, it’s the administration. 

The United States is always a trouble maker. We don’t want our country to be drag in any kind of conflict that is not our own making. And that will not protect us. That will not put us in a very good situation. And it’s not within our national interests. The national interests of the country of my country is peace, economic development, and preservation of our national sovereignty.”

Source: CGTN

Prof. Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy

Prof. Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD), Peking University, Beijing, China. She is currently a director and the Vice President for External Affairs of the Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute (ACPSSI), a think tank based in Manila. She also serves as the political/geopolitical analyst of ACPSSI. Currently, she is a Senior Researcher of the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI) and a Senior Research Fellow of the Global Governance Institution (GGI). She is also the President of Techperformance Corp, an IT-based company in the Philippines. Prof. Anna Uy taught Political Science, International Relations, Development Studies, European Studies, Southeast Asia, and China Studies. She is a researcher-writer, academic, and consultant on a wide array of issues. She has worked as a consultant with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other local and international NGOs.