Just as its neighbours begin to push back against China's maritime assertiveness, the Philippines this week rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG), the sharp edge of Beijing's coercive attempts to dominate the resource-rich South China Sea.
Recent years have seen not only the rapid transformation of historically tangled Philippine-China relations, but also the emergence of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as an assertive player in how the country conducts its maritime policy and relations with the Chinese.
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