The first-ever joint maritime exercise to be conducted between ASEAN and China

The first-ever joint maritime exercise will be conducted between ASEAN and China in the South China Sea near the city of Zhanjiang in an effort to reduce tensions in the disputed region. This exercise will provide very good opportunities from the navies of ASEAN and China to work together using the CUES (Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea). Four ASEAN members — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — have conflicting claims in the South China Sea with Beijing. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire area, including waters near the shores of smaller countries. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand are Asean’s other members. The concerns have escalated dramatically in recent years as China started building artificial islands on reefs in disputed waters, and it has also constructed military facilities and airstrips.

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