Walden Bellow, a representative of Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the Philippine House of Representatives, recently wrote an opinion-editorial in Foreign Policy in Focus (March 18) entitled, “A Budding Alliance: Vietnam and the Philippines Confront China.”
Bello argued that, “The Philippines and Vietnam are natural allies in their common struggle against China’s drive for hegemony in East Asia. Already partners in ASEAN, the two are likely to be driven closer together by Beijing’s increasingly brazen displays of power as it enforces its claim to some 80 percent of the South China Sea.”
The Philippines and Vietnam share convergent views and concerns over Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. This has led to intense diplomatic interaction and some coordination in multilateral institutions, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).