ASEAN, China joint maritime drill “important”: Philippine FM

August 7, 2018 (Xinhua) – The plan of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to conduct a joint maritime exercise in the South China Sea “is very important” to the region, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday.

“The exercise is important,” Cayetano told Xinhua at a press conference.

“It’s very important that there are joint military exercises if only to prevent accidents and for military-to-military relations to grow so that we can talk to each other better,” Cayetano said.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week in Singapore that China and ASEAN member states will hold a joint maritime exercise in October.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.