A divided South-east Asia confronts China over maritime claims

In an ironic twist, as Indonesia and Malaysia push back, Beijing has found a friend in the Philippines

One of the most interesting aspects of South-east Asia's reaction to China's maritime assertiveness is not the dearth of resistance per se, but the divided responses from key regional states.

In a major break with historical trends, a key US ally - the Philippines - has become a bastion of China-friendly sentiment within Asean.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'A divided South-east Asia confronts China over maritime claims'. Print Edition | Subscribe