(MENAFN - Arab News) Manila: the us military commander in the pacific warned friday that the risk of a miscalculation that could trigger a wider conflict in a tense territorial standoff between china and vietnam is high and urged both nations to exercise restraint.
adm. samuel locklear also urged southeast asian nations and china to hasten the drafting of a legally binding 'code of conduct" to prevent territorial rifts from turning into armed conflicts that could threaten the region's bustling economies.
southeast asian diplomats have accused china of delaying the start of negotiations for such a nonaggression pact while it tries to consolidate its control of disputed territories.
locklear spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the world economic forum on east asia where he joined a discussion on security threats in the economically vibrant region. territorial disputes have flared as countries face stiffer competition for control of resources he said.
with its economic progress the asia pacific has become the most militarized region in the world with some of the largest army and naval forces he said.
'how these forces are managed to create a fabric of security that allows economic success here has not yet been determined" locklear said.
philippine foreign undersecretary laura del rosario who also joined the security discussion said the drafting of a code of conduct has been so delayed that it could be overrun by developments in the south china sea where territorial spats have flared and become more complicated in recent years.