China unveils maritime co-operation fund with Asean
Officials say China has offered a US$474 million maritime co-operation fund with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, some of whose members have territorial disputes with Beijing.
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said China announced the fund on Friday at the inaugural maritime forum of Asean and eight of its partners, including Japan, China, South Korea and the US
Pham says Asean and China are discussing possible activities to finance. Asean and China co-operate in maritime issues including navigation safety, biodiversity and search and rescue.
Tensions have flared over claims by China, the Philippines and Vietnam to South China Sea islands and waters believed to be rich in gas and oil. Asean members Brunei and Malaysia also have been embroiled in South China Sea rifts.