The China/Strategic Studies program of the CIDS looks at the country’s maritime disputes with China and challenges resulting from China’s rapid rise to power as a catalyst (but not necessarily the entire scope) for what we hope to be a decisive effort to promote the University’s capability in strategic studies. Why is the program seemingly China-centric? China‘s economic power, political influence in Southeast Asia, military modernization, involvement in territorial and maritime disputes with neighboring countries, and revolutionary social transformation, among others, impact greatly on the regional economic and security environment in which the Philippines exists. Its expansive territorial claims and assertive policies in the South China Sea, in particular, bring it into conflict with other regional states with overlapping claims, including the Philippines. Bilateral relations have been in a state of crisis since a standoff over fisheries rights in the Scarborough Shoal from April to June 2012, and since the Philippines filed an arbitration suit against China with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in January 2013.