China will sign a treaty establishing a "nuclear weapons free" zone in Southeast Asia, Premier Wen Jiabao announced Monday at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The summit is being held in Nanning, southern China, to mark 15 years of dialogue between China and the 10 ASEAN members, the Financial Times reported. China has indicated that it would be willing to support the treaty on the nuclear-free zone, which bans the development and possession of nuclear weapons among ASEAN members and requires them to declare whether nuclear-powered ships or aircraft are passing through their territory. At present, China's nuclear-powered submarines do not require permission to visit neighboring Asian countries and it has allowed similar US air and sea craft to visit Hong Kong. Wen also called for closer military ties between China and ASEAN as well as speedier progress in negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two parties.