Filipino Spratly Tweak

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Almost immediately after this year’s ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) began in Bali, with the hotly contested Spratly Islands firmly on the agenda, members agreed to agree on what they had agreed to previously, the Philippines put their foot in it, and China reacted with familiar belligerence.

Usually the annual ARF – designed for handling regional security issues – has found it politically convenient to shy away from the Spratlys, with ASEAN countries always fearing a round of heavy bullying from China, which defies geographical realities and insists the island chain belongs to it. Read more in The Diplomat...

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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