Vietnam proposes code for unplanned aviation encounters with China and ASEAN over its East Sea

By Vuong Anh   May 26, 2016 | 03:40 am PT
Vietnam proposes code for unplanned aviation encounters with China and ASEAN over its East Sea
Vietnam Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich : VPA
Vietnam's Minister of Defense has proposed the establishment of a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) for aircraft operating in the South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea), on top of the expansion of the existing CUES for military vessels reached in 2014, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The idea is part of the confidence-building measures being taken by ASEAN members and China to resolve regional issues. It was suggested by Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich during the sixth unofficial ASEAN-China defense ministerial meeting held yesterday in Vientiane, Laos.

Lich said the establishment of the CUES for aircraft and the inclusion of official vessels in the existing CUES will help reduce the chance of miscalculations and prevent incidental encounters at sea from escalating.

In another proposal, Lich said there’s a need to increase the exchange of information on both bilateral and multilateral levels between ASEAN countries and China. He suggesteded establishing hotlines between ASEAN and Chinese defense ministers.

According to Lich, strengthening cooperation between ASEAN countries and with partners in the defense and military sectors will create an environment of peace, stability, development and equality. Besides the efforts of ASEAN, this also requires the support and contributions of partners outside ASEAN, especially China, he said.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said China and ASEAN countries should strengthen cooperation through joint patrols and counter-terrorism and maritime drills.

Defense ministers of ASEAN and China agreed that the security situation in the region is peaceful and stable but there is always a potential threat. The ministers reiterated their determination to implement their commitments to the region, resolving issues through peaceful means without using or threatening to use force.

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