ASEAN, China hold first-ever maritime exercise
Updated : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:54 PM (GMT+0700)

TheAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China launched thefirst-ever maritime exercise off the coast of Zhanjiang city, southernGuangdong province on October 22.

 
Illustrative image - Photo: thedefensepost.com

The joint exercise,co-organised by the navies of China and Singapore, the chair of ASEAN in 2018,involves eight naval ships and about 1,200 personnel from 11 countries. Theweek-long drill includes joint search and rescue operation.

At the opening ceremonyattended by all ten ASEAN nations and China, Singapore’s navy chief RearAdmiral Lew Chuen Hong emphasised the East Sea’s importance to the region, andaffirmed that the regional prosperity is only possible if the sea is stable andsecure.

According to Lew, it isimportant to have a set of common rules and understanding to allow the stableand collective use of a shared space. He gave the examples of the 1982 UnitedNations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Code for UnplannedEncounters at Sea (CUES) agreed by ASEAN and regional powers last year.

Chinese Defence MinisterGeneral Wei Fenghe said in a meeting with heads of the ASEAN delegations onOctober 21 that the exercise not only marks a significant milestone in thehistory of China – ASEAN relations but also demonstrates the confidence anddetermination of both sides to maintain regional peace and stability.

The drill will run throughOctober 28, including joint search and rescue operation.

It was proposed by China in2015 and agreed to be held at a meeting between Wei and ASEAN defence ministersin February last year.

A similar exercise will beheld between ASEAN and the US next year.

Source:VNA

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