China's defense minister Chang Wanquan has announced that the country wants to perform joint naval drills with Southeastern Asian countries in the disputed areas of the South China Sea. The joint naval drills would involve topics like accidental meetings, search and rescue, and how to strike a peacemaking attitude over a progressively edgier quarrel.
The Chinese have a strained relationship with several nations in the Southeastern Asia area, including Vietnam and the Philippines and allies such as the United States because Beijing has been very assertive in claiming territory in the South China Sea as Chinese territory. However, other countries have an overlying claim with on the area, such as Malaysia, Bruinei and Taiwan, as well at Vietnam and the Philippines.
Joint naval drills needed to maintain stability, correct problems
Chang announced to the ten leaders in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) during a casual Beijing summit that they all must strive toward correcting several problems and develop better ties. Mainly, China wants to create a situation that will help to keep relations in the area more stable, according to Chang.
The joint naval drills with the ASEAN nations would take place in the South China Sea next year, but no other details were given as to what would occur except for the announcement of the topics mentioned previously.
Joint activity welcomed by the Philippines
The Philippines delegates were happy about the chance to drill jointly, as they want to confirm the fact that the manmade islands China has in the South China Sea are not there for a military reasons, as the Chinese have stated. They wish to dock on these islands and visit them for themselves.
China refutes the fact that these islands are part of militarizing the South China Sea. Instead, they have stated that the building of the islands was mainly for civilian reasons. Beijing has stated that it will not allow any violations of its territorial waters in the South China Sea.
US wishes to conduct freedom of navigation Ops
In addition, the United States want to do freedom of navigation operations within the 12 nautical mile area around the manmade islands China has built, which are along the Spratly archipelago. The US has stated that the fact that China built these manmade islands doesn’t entitle them to claim territory limits and that freedom of navigation must be maintained.