Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

China, Southeast Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

China, Southeast Asia to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

"Ng said they would reduce the risk of air accidents, adding: "[They] are like a seat belt.

Making the announcement at a gathering of ASEAN defence ministers in Singapore, also attended by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart, Ng said the drills would help to "build trust, confidence". "They do not completely protect you but at least they provide some protection".

"I think that all of us joining hands together - ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] allies and partners - and we affirm as we do so that no single nation can rewrite the global rules to the road and expect all nations large and small to respect those rules", the secretary of defense said Friday after meeting with Japanese and South Korean officials in Singapore, The Hill reported.

Last year, Asean and its partner nations agreed a similar code to govern encounters at sea.

Schriver said that the Chinese requested the bilateral meeting, which will take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN-led forum in Singapore.

The city of Zhanjiang in southern China is home to the South Sea Fleet of the People's Liberation Army.

Late on Thursday, Chinese state media reported that the country's defence minister had urged the U.S. to "walk with China" to maintain stability and peace in the disputed waters at a meeting with his American counterpart at the summit.

Reuters reported that the 10 Asean states had also agreed to adopt the "our eyes" initiative, launched by six member-states in January, as a platform to exchange information on terrorism, radicalism, violent extremism, and other "non-traditional" threats in the region.

Seahawk helicopter crashed on the USS Ronald Reagan’s flight deck
Four people were injured on the helicopter and eight were injured on board the ship, according to the officials. An investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash, according to the statement.

The United States and China in 2015 signed a pact on a military hotline and rules governing air-to-air encounters.

Wei Fenghe noted that China stands firm on principles guiding issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea, and that the Chinese military take unswerving stance on safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development.

Mattis said that differences lie between the United States and China, but they do not necessarily mean confrontation, nor does competition mean hostility.

A previously planned meeting in Beijing between the two defense chiefs was called off amid US-China tensions surrounding the Trump administration's sanctioning of Beijing over its purchase of Russian weapons systems.

Beijing's expansive claims to the South China Sea have always been a source of friction in Southeast Asia, as well as Washington, which has traditionally been the dominant naval power in the area.

Relations between China and the USA have also been damaged by the ongoing trade war, security concerns and Donald Trump's accusations of Chinese meddling in the American midterm elections.

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Singapore, on October 18, 2018.

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