Tension in the South China Sea: why the Philippines is challenging China's improved military might
Yost, Kristofer L.
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Since 1995, the Philippines has had several disputes with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) over territory in the South China Sea (SCS). Between 1995 and 2010, Manila adopted policies with the PRC centered on accommodation and improving diplomatic relations with Beijing. After the election of President Benigno Aquino in 2010, the Philippines became more aggressive in its policies towards the PRC, and it has made more efforts to counter Chinese aggression than to accommodate Beijing. The Aquino administration has made military modernization, especially in regards to its naval capabilities, a top priority. In addition, Manila has also attempted to strengthen its security relationship with the United States significantly. What are the reasons for this change in policy? Through the analysis of Philippine policy decisions between 1995 and 2010, and policy decisions after the election of President Aquino, this thesis attempts to answer the question: Why has Philippine policy towards Beijings aggression changed since 2010?
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