China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will sign an agreement to mitigate the risk of armed confrontation in the region.
Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are going to sign an agreement to mitigate the risk of armed confrontation in the region amid of tensions over disputed areas in the South China Sea, the Philippines foreign ministry confirmed on September 2.
China and the ASEAN approved the adoption of a mechanism for handling unplanned encounters and emergency situations in the region. The disputes involve several members of the 10-country organization.
The implementation of communication protocols were agreed by the sides, as well as a hotline for top officials in the event of possible naval confrontations in the South China Sea’s contested waters was created.
According to Helen de la Vega, Philippines Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary, the protocols are going to be signed at the three-day ASEAN summit in Laos next week.
Helen de la Vega stressed that the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) arrangement is the first agreement of its kind.
“It’s one way of de-escalating tensions in the South China Sea,” she said, speaking at a news conference.
A senior Philippines navy commander noted that the upcoming agreement is crucial to downgrade tensions in the South China Sea.
“This is very important because any accident that can lead to a major confrontation will be avoided if our navies and coast guards are communicating with each other,” he said.