ASEAN defence ministers begin talks in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur: Defence ministers from Southeast Asian countries have begun 2 days of talks in Malaysia.
The meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations opened in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. The ministers will be joined by their counterparts from China, the United States, Japan and other nations today.
The chair of the meeting, Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, said at the opening that ASEAN members are responsible for ensuring security in the region.
The meeting comes after a US naval destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built by China in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea last week. China claims the waters as its own territory.
Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan and US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter are taking part in the meeting.
On Tuesday, they are expected to separately hold talks with ministers from other participating nations. They apparently hope to gain support for their countries’ stances in the South China Sea. —Agency