• Reuters

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Southeast Asian countries and China will establish hotlines and adopt communications protocols to avoid potential naval clashes in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, a Philippines Foreign Ministry official said Friday.

The protocols will be signed in Laos next week, when heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet with leaders from other regional powers — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Russia and the United States — for a three-day summit.

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