October 16, 2015 / 5:53 AM / 2 years ago

China proposes joint drills in South China Sea with ASEAN

BEIJING (Reuters) - China proposes holding joint maritime accidental encounter and search and rescue drills in the South China Sea with members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) next year, China’s defense minister told ASEAN defense chiefs of Friday.

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy in this May 21, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

Defence Minister Chang Wanquan’s comments, made at an informal meeting in Beijing, were carried by the Defence Ministry’s official microblog.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie

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