Foreign Policy Blogs

Archive by Author

Trump Courts Duterte, Duterte Courts Xi

Trump Courts Duterte, Duterte Courts Xi

Earlier this month Duterte visited three Chinese warships on Mindanao island in the Philippines—the first Chinese navy port call to the country since 2010.

read more

Hanoi Protests China’s Fishing Ban

Hanoi Protests China’s Fishing Ban

Hanoi officially expressed its displeasure over Beijing’s annual fishing ban in the South China Sea at a regular press conference last week.

read more

One Year On From Vietnam’s Worst Environmental Disaster

One Year On From Vietnam’s Worst Environmental Disaster

Marking the first anniversary of the Formosa Plastics spill, protesters in the town of Kỳ Anh blocked the country's main highway the first week of April.

read more

Manila Asserts Claims Over South China Sea Island

Manila Asserts Claims Over South China Sea Island

After bowing to Beijing’s request to retract his decision to plant a flag on Thitu Island over Philippine Independence Day, the President Rodrigo Duterte has likely angered the Chinese again.

read more

Duterte Backs Off Hawkish Rhetoric Over Spratly Islands

Duterte Backs Off Hawkish Rhetoric Over Spratly Islands

The unpredictable Duterte, has again changed course in the South China Sea, cancelling his plans to plant a flag on Thitu Island over Philippine Independence Day.

read more

Vietnam Seeks to Calm Waters One Year After Environmental Disaster

Vietnam Seeks to Calm Waters One Year After Environmental Disaster

Hanoi has acknowledged its citizens’ newfound environmental activism, hoping to avoid any widespread social unrest. But it is also taking punitive measures to quell protests.

read more

Beijing Seeks to Bolster Claims to Disputed Islands

Beijing Seeks to Bolster Claims to Disputed Islands

Vietnam reacted strongly in response to a recent visit by a Chinese cruise ship to the disputed Paracel archipelago. Hanoi pressed for an end to the cruise ship visits, which have taken hundreds of Chinese tourists to the island chain since 2013.

read more

Tillerson Gives Beijing Face

Tillerson Gives Beijing Face

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concluded his visit to China earlier this month, pledging that relations between the two countries would be based on “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.”

read more

Robert Lighthizer on Trade with China

Robert Lighthizer on Trade with China

The new pick for U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, recently signaled the new administration’s get-tough approach to China over trade issues.

read more

H.R. McMaster on China

H.R. McMaster on China

McMaster drew parallels between Russia’s activities on its borders with similar Chinese activities in the South China Sea, declaring China was “challenging U.S. interests at the far reaches of American power”.

read more

Rex Tillerson On China

Rex Tillerson On China

"We're going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed."

read more

Hanoi Halts Protest Over Disputed Islands

Hanoi Halts Protest Over Disputed Islands

Vietnam and China pledged to settle disputes and to work toward a code of conduct for maritime operations after Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's visit to Beijing.

read more

Sean Spicer on the South China Sea

Sean Spicer on the South China Sea

Comments from White House spokesman Sean Spicer on the South China Sea seem to have riled the Chinese and confused others who follow developments in the region.

read more

Beijing’s Development Bank Gains Momentum

Beijing’s Development Bank Gains Momentum

Despite U.S. objections and concerns, China’s $100 billion initiative seems determined in its quest for respectability and prominence.

read more

Vietnam Hedging by Dredging in the South China Sea

Vietnam Hedging by Dredging in the South China Sea

Hanoi has been actively fortifying its key holdings in the Spratlys, including the construction of a runway, tunnels and bunkers to defend its territory against China.

read more

About the Author

Gary Sands
Gary Sands

Gary Sands is a Senior Analyst at Wikistrat, a crowdsourced consultancy, and a Director at Highway West Capital Advisors, a venture capital, project finance and political risk advisory. He has contributed a number of op-eds for Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Washington Times, The Diplomat, The National Interest, International Policy Digest, Asia Times, EurasiaNet, Eurasia Review, Indo-Pacific Review, the South China Morning Post, and the Global Times. He was previously employed in lending and advisory roles at Shell Capital, ABB Structured Finance, and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He earned his Masters of Business Administration in International Business from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Science in Finance at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. He spent six years in Shanghai from 2006-2012, four years in Rio de Janeiro, and is currently based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. [email protected]

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset