Dr Renato Cruz De Castro is not known for mincing his words. A distinguished professor at De La Salle University, Manila, and an adjunct faculty member at the National Defence College of the Philippines (NDCP) Professor De Castro, conducts professional courses on International Relations, Strategic and Security Studies, and is a module director for the graduate course on International Security Studies at the NDCP. In New Delhi for the Chanakya defence Conclave, he took time out to talk to StratNewsGlobal to explain why the Philippines had rejected three major rail projects which form part of Chinese President X Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, just weeks after president Ferdinand Castro Jr attended the BRI Forum marking its 10th anniversary in Beijing. He also reveals why the Philippines grounded a landing craft onto a shoal in the disputed Spratly Islands and posted a small contingent of marines there, China’s increasingly belligerent attempts to browbeat the Philippines by ramming some boats carrying supplies for these marines, why a cohesive ASEAN opposition to China was unlikely, and even why Xi was likely to continue as China’s president despite the mounting internal criticism against him. He also eloquently elaborated on how the Philippines was preparing for a possible invasion of Taiwan by increasing its security arrangements with the US, Japan, Australia and India.