Southeast Asia Seeks Solution with Beijing after near Sino-US Ship Collision

A near collision between Chinese and U.S. ships in the contested South China Sea has shaken Asian countries whose economies and military security depend on a tense yet nonviolent Sino-U.S. relationship, and has raised the stakes for a deal with Beijing. The USS Decatur came within 40 meters of a Chinese ship in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands September 30, causing the American vessel to change course, media reports say. China claims 90 percent of the sea that's off its south coast, but the United States says other countries have legal rights to use it. On Saturday, defense leaders from the 10-member bloc Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), four of which dispute China’s claims, used a summit in Singapore to seek explanations from Chinese and American participants including U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis. Those countries worry that a real collision someday may accelerate Beijing's militarization of the sea to ward off Washington, scholars say. Countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam value the existing friction to get money from China, which wants them on its side, in addition to military protection against China from the United States. “The question is whether one side deliberately tries to take provocative moves to make a certain statement and runs into the risk of miscalculation,” said Yun Sun, East Asia Program senior associate at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington. “The near-collision makes ASEAN more wary and anxious,” Sun said. “They want the U.S. to be more engaged in the region, but are not willing to see the risk of conflict or war with China in the South China Sea.” Near miss The U.S. destroyer was making one of what Washington calls “freedom of navigation operation” moves in the South China Sea. The United States does not claim the 3.5 million-square-mile waterway... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Southeast Asia Seeks Solution with Beijing after near Sino-US Ship Collision, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Southeast Asia Seeks Solution with Beijing after near Sino-US Ship Collision





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Wednesday, 24 October



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