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China, ASEAN vow to deepen defense and security cooperation

Zhao Lei
Updated: May 26,2016 7:38 AM

China will continue to deepen its defense and security cooperation with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said in Vientiane, the Laotian capital, on May 25.

While attending the sixth China-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Informal Meeting, Chang said China proposes a joint exercise with militaries from ASEAN nations on maritime search and rescue, disaster relief and application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea. The code was approved by naval officials from more than 20 Asia-Pacific countries in April 2014 at a naval symposium in China.

China would like the exercise to be conducted in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, and its coastal waters in the second quarter of 2017, Chang said.

China also intends to strengthen its anti-terrorism cooperation with ASEAN members in terms of intelligence sharing and counterterrorism exercises, he said.

Additionally, Beijing is willing to enhance the collaboration between the People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command and the militaries of ASEAN nations in a wide range of fields including border and coastal defense, maritime security and anti-terrorism efforts, Chang said.

He added that China will continue to honor its commitment to regional peace and stability and will unwaveringly follow a peaceful development path. The country will also push forward its efforts to promote regional cooperation while remaining dedicated to peaceful resolution of disputes, he said.