Journal of Social Sciences

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The confrontation between the Chinese and the Philippines' navy in 1995, also known as the Mischief Reef Incident, reflected the intentions and military capabilities of the Chinese army, and, perhaps, triggered the threat perception of the Philippines' decision makers. Embracing the notion of American- external balancing seems to be the rational choice for the Philippines, according to the ongoing disputes as well as China's aggressiveness towards the conflicts in the South China Sea. Furthermore, the China's threat perceived by the Philippines perspective also tallies with the ีus. perception, considering the rise of China, politically and economically, will undermine the us interests. Rebalancing or pivoting strategy, therefore, becomes a new face of American foreign policy, aiming to increase the U.S. power in Asia. Nevertheless, the American roles in the South China Sea disputes inevitably impact the political landscape of Southeast Asia, and, in many ways, make this region become a significant battlefield between the US and China.

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