China and ASEAN to hold joint naval exercises

Nirmala Sitharaman ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting ASEAN Singapore deputy cm India-Singapore India news

In the meeting with Mr Mattis, both sides reaffirmed the excellent and longstanding bilateral defence relationship, as well as Singapore's longstanding support for the US' regional presence, said a Ministry of Defence (Mindef) statement on Thursday.

China and Southeast Asian nations will hold their first joint maritime exercises next week in a move aimed at easing tensions in the region.

"I am happy to announce the first multilateral guidelines for air encounters between military aircraft have been adopted", Singapore's defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, told a news conference.

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe agreed with the United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis here Thursday to control risks and deepen mutual trust so as to make the relations between the two militaries a stabilizer for the China-U.S. relationship.

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

In August, Southeast Asian nations and China adopted a negotiating framework for a broader code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Assange sues Ecuador government for ‘violating his fundamental rights’
He was also prohibited from any receiving guest beside his team of lawyers, a move which effectively cut him off from the world. Ecuador granted him asylum in August 2012, saying it feared his human rights might be violated if he was extradited.

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

But she added its significance should not be overstated as it was a one-off drill in waters that were not disputed. Beijing, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines have staked claims over elements of the Spratlys, while Beijing, Taiwan and Vietnam dispute sovereignty over the Paracels.

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.

Washington has expressed alarm over the island-building, saying it could affect freedom of navigation in the sea, which hosts some of the world's most vital commercial shipping lanes.

"No single nation can rewrite the global rules of the road, and we expect all nations - large and small - to respect those rules", he added.

"Smt @nsitharaman in a bilateral meeting with #SecDef James Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense on the sidelines of ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meet (Plus) in Singapore", the defence minister tweeted.

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