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Asean, China introduce measures to dial down tensions in South China Sea

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07 Sep Asean, China introduce measures to dial down tensions in South China Sea

The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) and China on Wednesday (Sept 7) agreed on confidence-building measures to reduce tensions in the disputed South China Sea, as both sides seek to get out of a rough patch arising from Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the maritime domain.

At a commemorative summit in Laos to mark the 25th anniversary of dialogue relations between Asean and China, both sides announced that they will set up a communications protocol for unplanned encounters in the South China Sea as well as a hotline among the foreign ministries to respond to maritime emergencies.

Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, noted that the latest confidence-building measures have been in the works for some time.

“This is a sign of progress and that practical measures are being taken. Beijing cannot renounce its claims but this does not mean it is uninterested in preventing escalation, especially by accident and misunderstanding,” he said.

Full Article: 
Asean, China introduce measures to dial down tensions in South China Sea [TODAY, 7 Sep 2016]