China, Asia Pacific countries sign pact to reduce maritime conflicts

Beijing, Apr. 23: China, the United States, Japan and other Asia Pacific countries have signed a maritime agreement to ease maritime tensions.

The agreement would help reduce the chances of miscommunication or the potential for situations to arise that could lead to conflict in busy sea lanes.

According to the China Daily, the Code For Unplanned Encounters at Sea was passed at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, a biennial meeting that opened in Qingdao, Shandong province.

The countries agreed on a tactical maneuvering and signal manual to govern the conduct of warships and aircraft from the signatory countries that unexpectedly come into close proximity at sea, the report said.

According to observers, the non-binding document marks a substantial move to increase maritime communication and safety.