After Show of Military Might, China Offers to Restart South China Sea Talks
Voice of America News reports: “China has agreed to restart talks with worried Southeast Asian countries on a maritime code of conduct to restore its image abroad after COVID-19 and months of reminders that it’s the waterway’s most militarily powerful country.
Beijing said July 1 in a consultation with Southeast Asian leaders that it would resume negotiations on a code, pending since 2002, that would help ships avoid mishaps and resolve any accidents in the vast, crowded South China Sea.
China and its negotiation counterpart the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has shunned the topic so far this year. Both sides grappled instead with the COVID-19 outbreak, which cast wary eyes on China as the disease’s origin.
Also in the first half of the year, China flew military planes at least eight times over a corner of the sea near Taiwan and sent survey ships to tracts of the waterway claimed by Malaysia and Vietnam. Last week it held South China Sea military exercises with an apparent focus on amphibious assaults…”View Original Article