chapter  10
20 Pages

Navigating between the Dragon and the Sun

The Philippines’ gambit of pitting Japan against China in the South China Sea dispute
ByRenato Cruz De Castro

This chapter examines how the Philippines has taken advantage of the Sino-Japanese rivalry by forging a security partnership with Japan in order to balance China in the South China Sea dispute. It addresses the Sino-Japanese rivalry more broadly, investigating how rivalry affects each country's foreign policy towards the Philippines. The chapter considers the possible outcomes of the Philippines' gambit of pitting Japan against China in the South China Sea dispute. The Philippine delegation followed up its request with its Japanese counterpart for joint maritime security cooperation on capacity-building and training, particularly in terms of acquiring new equipment and improving the communication infrastructure of the civilian Philippine Coast Guard. Confronted by Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, the Philippines quickly found it necessary to foster a security partnership with Japan, China's main rival in East Asia. The election of President Rodrigo Duterte as the country's sixteenth president led to dramatic changes in Philippine foreign policy vis-a-vis China and the US.