by Staff Writers
Clark, Philippines (AFP) Oct 24, 2017
China and Southeast Asian nations may hold a joint naval exercise next year to help build trust, Singapore's defence minister said Tuesday, following years of acrimony over rival claims in the South China Sea.
Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan on Tuesday attended a security forum hosted by the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations and pushed for the maritime drill, according to Singapore's Ng Eng Hen.
"This idea was openly floated and I haven't heard any objections to it," Ng told reporters on the sidelines of the forum in Clark, a northern Philippine city.
"This is an exercise to build friendship and trust."
China claims nearly all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual trade passes, even waters approaching the coasts of its neighbours.
Its claims overlap with those of ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan.
The dispute has long been seen as a potential military flashpoint in the region.
Tensions have increased in recent years as China has sought to cement its claims with the building of artificial islands in the sea and installing military aircraft and missile systems on them.
The Philippines, under the previous presidency of Benigno Aquino, had rallied ASEAN to take a united stand against Chinese actions in the sea and won a ruling from an international tribunal that China's claims were unlawful.
However tensions eased after Rodrigo Duterte succeeded Aquino in the middle of last year and reversed the Philippines' stance, preferring instead to pursue closer economic and political ties with China.
Ng said China wanted to conduct the joint exercise next year and Singapore would help arrange it
"We will work out the details, the (logistics) and find a suitable area that ASEAN and China navies can exercise together," Ng said.
Singapore is the ASEAN-China coordinator and will next year hold the regional grouping's rotating chairmanship.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis also attended the two-day event, during which North Korea's nuclear ambitions were one of the top agenda items.
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 20, 2017
India on Friday welcomed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comments that Washington would rather work with New Delhi than Beijing over the next century, saying it shared his optimism about their burgeoning relationship. Speaking ahead of a visit to India next week, Tillerson called Wednesday for deeper cooperation with India in the face of growing Chinese influence in Asia and said Washi ... read more
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|