Rising China: Specific Policy Options for the Philippines and the United States
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On February 05, 2014, the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (formerly AIM Policy Center), together with the AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management, Management Association of the Philippines, Asia Society, and Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of the Philippines, hosted a forum on "Rising China: Specific Policy Options for the Philippines and the United States" at the ABS-CBN Caseroom, Asian Institute of Management.
Dean Juan Miguel Luz of the AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management welcomed the participants of the forum. Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan III provided an overview of the issues surrounding ongoing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines. He briefly recounted some important events that transpired since the 1970s, highlighting the different approaches both countries have applied in resolving the dispute.
The forum focused on the lecture of Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Michael Tkacik. He emphasized why the South China Sea remains to be one of the most important disputes in the region for political and economic reasons. It centered on generating strength to deter the advancement of China's activity in the South China Sea. He also underscored the need for the Philippines to revisit some policies that will allow the country to negotiate from a position of strength. He noted that the Philippines should draw on the country's longstanding relationship with the United States and the need to build relationships with neighboring countries.
The lecture was followed by a very candid and dynamic open forum where audience members shared their questions and insights. The event was moderated by Prof. Mario Antonio Lopez of the AIM faculty.
The forum was the 4th session of a series of discussions of Philippines, China and ASEAN that began in 2012. The first forum focused on the prospects for cooperation and regional public goods in the South China Sea. The second forum featured policy discussions with Mr. Walter B. Slocombe (Former US Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence) and Admiral Dennis C. Blair (Former United States Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Command) which touched on the increasing prominence of China in international affairs and the pivot of the United States to the Asia-Pacific region. The third forum centered on a dialogue with Prof. Emeritus Marwyn Samuels of Syracuse University, Dr. Liping Zheng of the Asian Development Bank, and Former ABC News Beijing Bureau Chief Mr. Chito Sta. Romana. It sought to deepen understanding of the dynamics underlying the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China given the latter's rapidly evolving socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape.