Marine Link
Thursday, August 24, 2017

US Navy a Hazard to Shipping -Chinese Newspaper

USS John S. McCain following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. (U.S. Navy photo by Madailein Abbott)

The U.S. navy's latest collision at sea, the fourth in its Pacific fleet this year, shows it is becoming an increasing risk to shipping in Asia despite its claims of helping to protect freedom of navigation, an official Chinese newspaper said. The USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided while the guided-missile vessel was nearing Singapore on Monday. The collision tore a hole in the warship's port side at the waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area. Ten sailors are missing. The collision - the fourth major accident in the U.S.

Philippines says China Will Halt Expansion in South China Sea

China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defence minister said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also said the Philippines was working on a "commercial deal" with China to explore and exploit oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea with an aim to begin drilling within a year. The defence minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing the Philippines and China had reached a "modus vivendi", or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands.

China Shadows US Warship in Disputed Sea

USS Lassen (U.S. Navy photo)

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed close to China's man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, drawing an angry rebuke from Beijing, which said it warned and followed the American vessel. The patrol by the USS Lassen was the most significant U.S. challenge yet to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits China asserts around the islands in the Spratly archipelago and could ratchet up tension in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. One U.S. defense official said the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef.

China's Navy holds Missile Combat Resupply Drill

China's navy held its first drill simulating the resupply of missiles in a combat environment in the Yellow Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the country's growing military prowess. The live-fire exercises, involving ships, aircraft and land-based forces, featured the firing of missiles, torpedoes and shells, some of which were new models, the ministry said in a statement on its website. They were fired to intercept surface, underwater and airborne targets, and the drill "for the first time organised a maritime missile combat resupply exercise", it added, without giving details. China has ramped up defence spending to modernise its forces, the world's largest, which are gaining experience in operating far from its coast.

Vietnam, Australia Call for South China Sea 'Restraint'

Vietnam and Australia called on Wednesday for "self-restraint" in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force, an obvious reference to China's increasingly aggressive presence that has stirred concerns across the disputed region. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Canberra, where they will sign a deal on issues including security and climate change. Vietnam and other wary Southeast Asian countries have complained about China's controversial policy of land reclamation on disputed isles in the South China Sea. Beijing in turn has said it is not seeking to overturn international order. Dung told the Australian parliament there was an imperative need to draw up a code of conduct for the South China Sea. "We agreed ...

US Destroyer Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) (U.S. Navy photo by James Vazquez)

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

Philippines says China Wanted Non-legally Binding South China Sea Code

China pushed for a maritime code of conduct with Southeast Asian countries that would not be legally binding, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday. Alan Peter Cayetano said some countries wanted the South China Sea code to be legally binding, and China preferred the less forceful "binding". He said all parties realised it was better to drop all mention of it from the framework and move forward. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China hailed the adoption on Sunday of a negotiating framework for the code of conduct (COC) as progress towards preventing disputes. Cayetano cited the framework as an example of how parties that were historically at odds were co-operating…

China Plans to Modernise Shipping Industry: Shares Jump

China published a set of guidelines to support and develop its shipping industry on Wednesday, sending shares in shipping firms such as China COSCO and China Shipping higher. The world's biggest trading nation is focusing on the shipping industry as it looks to secure its supply chains and grows more assertive over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, unnerving neighbours such as Vietnam and Japan. China will introduce tax and other regulatory reforms while pushing shipping firms to upgrade and modernise their fleets to build an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly shipping system by 2020, the State Council, China's cabinet, said in a statement published on its website.

China Deploys Missiles on South China Sea Island

Satellite images show new missiles on Woody Island; China says entitled to necessary self defence facilities. China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region. Taiwan defence ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters on Wednesday the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 years but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. A U.S. defence official also confirmed the "apparent deployment" of the missiles, first reported by Fox News.

China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role

(Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea.

Bulk Carriers Collide On Mississippi

The Panamanian bulk carrier El Flamenco and Liberian bulker China Spirit reportedly collided on the Mississippi River on February 4. The 70,046 dwt China Spirit was contacted by the El Flamenco (69,351 dwt). A two meter by two meter hole above the waterline was ripped out of the afterpeak ballast tank of China Spirit. The damage has been temporarily repaired and it is awaiting class surveyors approval before loading for the Far East, where permanent repairs will be carried out. El Flamenco was heading north to mile marker 110 to unload its cargo of pig iron from Brazil. China Spirit was anchored at 12-mile anchorage facing northbound 75-80 yards off the west bank, waiting to receive grain from ADM Gromark grain elevators.

U.S. Navy Relieves Seventh Fleet Commander

A file image of the USS John S. McCain returning to port.

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday said it had removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after a series of collisions involving its warships in Asia as the search goes on for 10 sailors missing since the latest mishap. Aucoin's removal comes after a pre-dawn collision between a guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel east of Singapore and Malaysia on Monday, the fourth major incident in the U.S. Pacific Fleet this year. "Admiral Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet…

China Adopts Maritime Code with ASEAN

China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang. File Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted on Sunday a negotiating framework for a code of conduct  (COC)  in the South China Sea, Reuters reported. The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have agreed on a framework for how they will go about drafting a code. However, critics say this move as tactic to buy China time to consolidate its maritime power. The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea…

Philippines: South China Sea not on APEC Agenda

Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group will discuss climate change and business opportunities at a meeting in the Philippines next month but not the South China Sea. China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. The Philippines has filed a case with an international arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea but China has rejected the proceeding and says disputes must be handled bilaterally. China is a member of APEC.

US, Japan Keen to Raise South China Sea at G-7

Map courtesy: AFP

South China Sea warning looms over G7 summit. The United States is keen to raise the issue of South China Sea at a Group of Seven foreign ministers (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima. The US expects that this move would likely draw an angry response from the government in Beijing. Japan also wants to discuss South China Sea. The Shinzo Abe administration of Japan has been trying to place the South China Sea on top of the agenda at the upcoming two-day meeting in Hiroshima, despite pressing issues of combating terrorism and extremism, and the refugee crisis troubling Europe and the Middle East.

ASEAN, China Adopt Framework for Code on South China Sea

Foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted on Sunday a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, a move they hailed as progress but seen by critics as tactic to buy China time to consolidate its maritime power. The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, which has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven manmade islands in disputed waters, three of which are equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars. All parties say the framework is only an outline for how the code will be established but critics say the failure to outline as an initial objective the need to make the code legally binding and enforceable…

Demand for Ships in China to reach 31m DWT

According a new report on China’s shipbuilding industry from Research and Markets, from 2006 to 2010, the total demand for ships in China will reach 31 million dead weight tons (DWT), and the annual demand will be 6.2 million DWT on average. The report, dubbed China Shipbuilding Industry Report, 2005–2006, notes that China’s ship completions rank third over the past 10 consecutive years, and the shipbuilding capacity has increased from 3.462 million DWT in 2002 to 12 million DWT in 2005. The boom of China’s shipbuilding industry is closely linked with the development of marine industry, says the report. Although the global marine market declined in 2005, new opportunities emerged.

ASEAN Breaks South China Sea Deadlock

Manila drops request to refer to court ruling in statement. Southeast Asian nations overcame days of deadlock on Monday when the Philippines dropped a request for their joint statement to mention a landmark legal ruling on the South China Sea, officials said, after objections from Cambodia. China publicly thanked Cambodia for supporting its stance on maritime disputes, a position which threw the regional block's weekend meeting in the Laos capital of Vientiane into disarray. Competing claims with China in the vital shipping lane are among the most contentious issues for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with its 10 members pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while finding common ground and fostering ties with Beijing.

CMA CGM to Build World's Largest Boxships at Chinese Yard

File Image: CMA CGM's boxship Ben Franklin (CREDIT: Marad)

French shipping group CMA CGM plans to build nine of the world's largest container ships at two Chinese shipyards, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co confirmed that it and its sister yard Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, had received a letter of intent from CMA CGM for the ships, which would be capable of carrying 22,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU), the newspaper said. The final order was subject to board approval from both sides, the newspaper said. Both yards are owned by state-run China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

China: No Military Force to Settle Oil Rig Spat

A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea, and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China is also involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea with Japan. Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have squared off around the rig despite a series of collisions after the platform was towed to the area in early May. The rig's deployment triggered anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month that killed at least four workers.

LNG Carrier to Enter Service in China by End of Year

According to reports, China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Ltd plans to put the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier built in China into operation by the end of this year, serving Guangdong Dapeng LNG Co, an official of China LNG said. A company official said China LNG would also build carriers for CNOOC Ltd's LNG terminals in the eastern province of Fujian and in Shanghai, which are expected to be operational in 2009 Xu said China needed 25-30 LNG carriers by 2020, with the country's natural gas consumption growing sharply and projected to be 200-240 bln cubic meters by then. Last year, China consumed 55.6 bln cubic meters. Source: Forbes

White House Supports Legal action in South China Sea Dispute

The White House said on Thursday it would support the use of legal action by Vietnam against China to resolve a dispute after the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to disputed waters in the South China Sea. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said, in comments to Reuters, his government was considering various "defense options" against China, including legal action. U.S. support for such a move would likely upset Beijing. "The United States has a national interest in maintenance of peace and stability; respect for international law; unimpeded lawful commerce; and freedom of navigation and over flight in the South China Sea," White House spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in response to questions about the prime minister's remarks.

Obama: Philippines Pact No Threat to China

US says not planning to rebuild old bases or construct new ones. Obama says goal is not to contain China while Philippines' Aquino says Chinese shouldn't be concerned. President Barack Obama said a new military pact signed with the Philippines on Monday granting a larger presence for U.S. forces would bolster the Southeast Asian country's maritime security, but was not aimed at countering China's growing military might. The agreement, which will have an initial 10-year term, was touted as the highlight of Obama's first visit to the Philippines, the United States' oldest ally in the region. It sets the framework for a beefed-up rotation of U.S. troops, ships and warplanes through the Philippines, part of a rebalancing of U.S. resources towards fast-growing Asia and the Pacific.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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