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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

ASEAN, China to discuss strengthened defense ties

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

13:30, December 12, 2011

BEIJING - Defense officials and scholars from China and ASEAN member countries will gather in Beijing on Monday to discuss strengthening defense and security ties.

The second-round China-ASEAN dialogue meeting on defense and security, scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, will include discussions on the security environment in the Asia-Pacific in the context of the global financial crisis, ASEAN's security mechanism and defense cooperation with China, and non-traditional security cooperation between China and ASEAN, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Since last March, the meeting has been upgraded to include defense officials from the two sides.

Previous meetings only involved senior defense and security scholars from China and ASEAN, said Liu Lin, a researcher with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Science, which was involved in organizing the meeting.

The combination of scholars and officials could lead to more flexibility on policy discussion, according to Liu.

Luo Yuan, a researcher with the PLA Academy of Military Science, said military exchanges are a sensitive area, and their success requires considerable diplomatic efforts.

"The situation in the area near China has not been quite calm this year, which makes it necessary to strengthen dialogue with other countries to boost trust and reduce suspicion," Luo said.

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