At the unofficial meeting of ASEAN defence ministers in Singapore on February 6 (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Defence ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have agreed to hold a joint maritime exercise in 2018.

The Kyodo News Agency quoted Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh as saying that the agreement was reached during an unofficial meeting of ASEAN defence ministers in Singapore on February 6.

ASEAN countries and China agreed to conduct the ASEAN - China Maritime Exercise two times this year. The first exercise is expected to take place in China in October, while the second might be held in an ASEAN country, possibly the Philippines, in late November or December.

Three preparatory meetings are to be held in Singapore and in China to iron out the details.

China first proposed the joint drills in 2015.-VNA