Chinese military backs naval encounters code

Updated: 2014-04-24 21:09


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BEIJING - A Defense Ministry spokesman on Thursday hailed the endorsement this week of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) as conducive to safeguarding regional security and stability.

Yang Yujun made the remarks at a regular press briefing after naval officials from more than 20 Asia-Pacific countries on Tuesday adopted the agreement aimed at heading off accidents and miscommunication at sea to reduce the possibility of conflicts.

The agreement was approved unanimously at the 14th meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in the Chinese port city of Qingdao.

Yang said the agreement offers safety procedures, basic communications plans, a signal manual and basic maneuvering instructions for naval ships and naval aircraft during unplanned encounters at sea.

It also prescribes the agreement's legal status and the scope of application, he added.

According to Yang, the CUES has positive significance for reducing misunderstanding and misjudgment in air and sea operations among countries in peacetime, avoiding air and sea accidents as well as safeguarding regional safety and stability.

He also warned some against misinterpreting and making selective readings on the agreement's technical specifications, after Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera remarked that the CUES bans weaponry radar-locking on military ships of other countries at sea.

The risks of an unintended conflict were highlighted in January when Japan alleged that a Chinese frigate locked its radar on a Japanese destroyer in the East China Sea.