China-ASEAN naval exercises proposed

Updated 2017-10-26 09:02:56 Global Times

Bloc realizes China 'a better choice in helping solve regional problems'

The proposed joint exercises between China and Southeast Asian navies is a positive sign of security exchanges in the region after conflicts in the South China Sea subsided, Chinese analysts said Wednesday.

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are planning to hold their first joint naval exercises next year, Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said Tuesday.

"Singapore supports it," Ng was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"If you hold exercises, you at least build understanding and trust," said Ng, Reuters reported.

The exercises were discussed at a meeting between China and Singapore on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting at the former US air force base in the Philippine city of Angeles.

"This idea was openly floated and I haven't heard any objections to it," Ng told reporters, AFP reported.

China and ASEAN have not made a public announcement about the drills or the proposal.

This is a huge sign because it would be the first time China would hold military drills with ASEAN, Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times.

It means ASEAN is ready to upgrade its cooperation with China from purely economic to military perspectives, Chen elaborated.

As the intensity in the South China Sea subsides, security cooperation between China and ASEAN has improved since the latter realizes that China, as a neighboring country, is a better choice to cooperate with in solving regional problems, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University's Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Although ASEAN is sending an olive branch to China, it is unlikely to shove the US aside on security cooperation, said Zhuang.

The bloc's strategy is to seek a balance between the superpowers to gain maximum benefits, Zhuang noted.

The drills are more likely to focus on maritime search and rescue operations, and unlikely to involve more sophisticated military exercises, said Chen.

"After all, this is the first time and the shadow of South China Sea disputes lingers on," Chen said.

According to Zhuang, the challenge for China and ASEAN to hold joint drills lies in differences in equipment, language and coordinating system of the different navies, as many military personnel of ASEAN countries are trained in Western countries.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 21 2019 04:03:08

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 21 2019 04:03:08

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 21 2019 04:03:08

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords