US, China, others tentatively agree to multilateral air encounter code

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US, China, others tentatively agree to multilateral air encounter code

Several countries including the United States and China have agreed in principle to multilateral guidelines to manage unexpected encounters between their military aircraft, joining 10 Southeast Asian nations already in the pact. 

According to a joint statement issued after a meeting of defense ministers from the 18 countries in Singapore today, world’s two biggest economies as well as Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea tentatively joined the agreement, which was initially adopted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The voluntary, non-binding guidelines build on an existing code to manage sea encounters adopted by all 18 countries was designed to mitigate risks following a boom in the region’s maritime and air traffic in recent years.