Torn Between Two Powers: The Philippines in the US-China Rivalry


About the Seminar

The recently concluded Philippine presidential election resulted in a landslide victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son and namesake of the country’s former dictator. His new government affords an opportunity to reboot the Philippines’ foreign policy. The previous administration under former president Rodrigo Duterte (2016-2022) pursued an ‘independent’ foreign policy that emphasised closer relations with China and undermined the military alliance with the US. Marcos Jr. vowed to defend and promote the country’s national interests given the increasing rivalry between the two great powers. As the Philippine president is often considered as the chief architect of foreign policy, Marcos Jr. is expected to carve his own foreign policy direction distinct from his predecessor. This seminar will lay out the preliminary contours of the Philippines’ foreign policy under the Marcos Jr administration. What are the foremost foreign policy challenges faced by the Philippines? How will the Marcos Jr administration hedge and balance its relations between the two superpowers? What are the options for the Philippines if contingencies arise from the regional flashpoints brought about by the intense rivalry between Beijing and Washington?

About the Speaker

Dr. Aries Arugay is Visiting Fellow of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute where he currently manages the Philippine Studies Project and works with both the Regional Strategic & Political Studies and the Media, Technology & Society programmes. He is also Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. His research focuses on comparative democratisation, civil-military relations, contentious politics, foreign policy, and social media. Since 2020, he has been the Editor-in-Chief of Asian Politics & Policy, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell and the Policy Studies Organisation.


This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Nov 28 2022


GMT +8
10:00 am - 11:00 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2 / Webinar