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Surin calls for South China Sea hotline

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Southeast Asian countries called on Saturday for a hotline with China to defuse tensions over their increasingly divisive maritime territorial rows. 

Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan publicly floated the proposal for the South China Sea hotline ahead of three days of talks involving the region's leaders in Cambodia starting on Sunday.

"We can give it a sense of urgency that, if there is anything developing that we all will be phoned... trying to consult, trying to coordinate, trying to contain any possible spillover of any... incident, accident, miscalculation, misunderstanding,'' Surin told reporters.

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