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AKIPRESS.COM - China and the United States will hold a working group meeting this week to discuss a military security code of conduct covering international waters and airspace, the Ministry of National Defense told China Daily on Tuesday, the China's People's Daily reported.
Further concerns have been raised over frequent spying by the US along China's coastline after a "close encounter" last week between a Chinese navy fighter jet and a US Navy reconnaissance plane. The incident happened about 200 km from the Chinese coast.
Observers said a code of conduct is needed to avoid friction between the two countries, but no major progress will be made until Washington stops conducting airspace espionage near Chinese territory.
The ministry said that under the consensus reached between China and the US in July, Beijing has sent a delegation to the US, from Monday to Friday, to attend the working group meeting regarding consultations on the code of conduct.
"This is part of the annual plan for China-US military exchanges, aimed at implementing the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and boosting the establishment of a China-US military security code of conduct regarding international waters and airspace," the ministry said.
Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said the start of talks on the code of conduct is a hopeful sign for "avoiding unexpected military conflicts" on the high seas when the two countries try to safeguard their own interests.
Jin said the development is "unlikely to see either side abandon its existing pattern of practices", but drawing a red line is at least "necessary and helpful".