Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center will be holding via Zoom a forum, "Engaging with China: Views from Southeast Asia," on 5 June 2021, 1 pm, Philippine Standard Time, GMT + 8. The forum is free and open to the public but sign-in to an authenticated Zoom account is required.


Click on the titles to view the abstracts. A Q&A session will follow after every presentation.


Surveying 'Engagements:' Focus on Early Reports on Some Aspects of Southeast Asian Countries' Relations with China
Professor Rolando Talampas
Officer in Charge, Asian Center,
University of the Philippines Diliman

“Political Connectivity”: A New Dimension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Philippines
Aaron Jed Rabena, PhD
Program Convenor and Research Fellow
Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress, Inc.

Making Sense of Indonesia’s Response to Great Power Politics in Southeast Asia
Rahul Mishra, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya

Southeast Asia-China Relations: The Lure and Limits of Infrastructure, Institutions, and Interdependence
Kuik Cheng-Chwee, PhD
Head, Centre for Asian Studies, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies
National University of Malaysia

How Can Vietnam Deal With China in the South China Sea?
Pham Quang Minh, PhD
Professor of History and Politics
University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Vietnam National University-Hanoi

Addressing Distrust, Fear, and Fairness in Southeast Asia
Irfa Puspitasari
Lecturer, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia

Engaging China Under the Duterte Administration: Achievements and Limitations of The Bilateral Consultative Mechanisms (BCM) in the South China Sea
Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD
President, Philippine Association for Chinese Studies
Professorial Lecturer, Department of International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Miriam College, Philippines


    • When registering for the webinar, use the same email address that you use for your Zoom account.
    • If your registration is successful, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to join the webinar. Please do not share that link. Email reminders will be sent a day and an hour before the start of the webinar.
    • Attendance is first-come, first-served. The webinar can only accommodate 1,000.
Webinar Proper
    • For a smooth entry to the webinar, log in first to your Zoom account before clicking the invitation/join link.
    • The host(s) reserves the right to remove participants who send rude, inappropriate questions or messages
 Q&A System
    • A Q&A session will follow after every presentation. Questions can be typed in the Q&A window. Please indicate which speaker you are addressing. Audience can post anonymously.
    • Several questions can be read out and answered live. These questions will then be placed under “answered.”
    • Sometime during the next presentation, all remaining questions from the previous presentation will be dismissed to give way for the next set of questions.
    • If they wish, speakers may type their answers and reopen any question and respond via text (in private or in public).
    • The Q&A will be set up in such a way that all typed answers can be viewed by the public, with an option to respond in private.


Southeast Asia’s proximity to China presents both economic opportunities and security challenges. While China’s economic rise in the past decades has benefitted the region’s economies, China’s claims over the South China Sea have created security anxieties among its neighbors. How do different Southeast Asian states balance economic and geopolitical interests? To what extent has China’s relations with and views on Southeast Asia evolved in recent decades? What pathways could be explored to mitigate political conflict while continuing—even intensifying—economic relations? This forum has been billed as the Aileen Baviera-Mario Miclat Memorial Lectures. Professors Baviera and Miclat were former deans of the UP Asian Center.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here