Japan Says Chinese Vessels Sail Near Disputed Islands
Japan’s Coast Guard said on Sunday that two Chinese vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.It marked the 21st time this year that Chinese boats have entered Japanese waters and the first since late August, a Japanese Coast Guard representative said.Japan’s government has complained of “relentless” intrusions in waters around the group of islets claimed by both nations. The contested territory contains islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.Two Chinese Coast Guard ships entered the waters at about 10:45 a.m.
US to Help Japan Monitor 'Unprecedented' Chinese Incursion Around Disputed Islands
The U.S. military will help Japan monitor “unprecedented” Chinese incursions around East China Sea islands controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing as Chinese boats prepare to begin fishing in nearby waters, the commander of U.S. Forces Japan said on Wednesday.“The United States is 100 percent absolutely steadfast in its commitment to help the government of Japan with the situation,” Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider said during an online press conference.“They (Chinese ships)…
US Rearms to Nullify China's Missile Supremacy
As Washington and Beijing trade barbs over the coronavirus pandemic, a longer-term struggle between the two Pacific powers is at a turning point, as the United States rolls out new weapons and strategy in a bid to close a wide missile gap with China.The United States has largely stood by in recent decades as China dramatically expanded its military firepower. Now, having shed the constraints of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, the Trump administration is planning to deploy long-range…
Malaysia Calls for Peaceful End to South China Sea Standoff
Malaysia called on Thursday for disputes over the South China Sea to be resolved by peaceful means, amid a standoff between Chinese and Malaysian vessels that a U.S. think tank said had been going on for months.U.S. and Australian warships arrived in the South China Sea this week near an area where a Chinese government survey vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, has been operating close to a drillship under contract to Malaysian state oil company Petronas, regional security sources have…
Vietnam Protests Beijing's Sinking of South China Sea Boat
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the disputed South China Sea.The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, Vietnam's foreign ministry said in a statement posted on a government website on Saturday.All the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels operating nearb
North Korea Caught Exporting Sand to China
For several months last year, a steady stream of ships was observed dredging sand in a North Korean bay then transporting it to China, a Washington-based think-tank said on Wednesday.The extraction of sand from North Korea to China would violate a 2017 U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North Korea from “supplying, selling, or transferring sand”, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) said in a report.The group’s researchers tracked the dredging and transport of the sand through commercial satellite imagery and shipping databases.“Between March and August 2019…
Indonesia Boosts Patrols After Chinese 'Trespass'
Indonesia has increased patrols around islands near the disputed South China Sea after a Chinese coast guard vessel "trespassed" into Indonesia's exclusive economic zone, authorities said on Friday.The Chinese vessel entered waters off the coast of the northern Natuna islands in mid-December, leading Indonesian foreign ministry to issue a “strong protest” and summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta.Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang…
LR Approves New LNG-Fueled VLCC Design
The UK-based maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted approval in principle (AiP) to a quartet for an LNG-fueled VLCC design that uses a prismatic GTT Mark III membrane LNG tank.The AiP was granted to China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES), CNOOC Gas and Power Group, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC), and Gaztransport and Technigaz(GTT).The main objectives of the AiP include developing a specification for a dual fuel VLCC that meets the IMO’s GHG 2030 emission limitations and preparing the relevant design drawings.CMES and CNOOC G&P, with assistance from LR and GTT, also performed an economic analysis in terms of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX).
Malaysia Readies for the Worst in South China Sea
Malaysia needs to boost its naval capabilities to prepare for possible conflict in the South China Sea, its foreign minister said on Thursday, even as Southeast Asia's third-largest economy pursues non-militarisation of the disputed waterway.Tensions have escalated in recent weeks, especially after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China last month as a challenge to what the U.S. Navy described as excessive Chinese territorial claims in the region.Foreign Minister…
Chinese Ship Returns to Vietnam's EEZ
A Chinese survey ship returned to Vietnam's exclusive economic zone off its coast on Tuesday, ship tracking data showed, less than a week after it left the area where vessels from the two countries were locked in a month-long standoff.The Haiyang Dizhi 8 first entered the zone under Chinese coast guard escort in July and appeared to conduct a seismic survey of waters that are a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China's maritime claims.The survey ship, which according to Vietnam left the area on Aug. 7, was now headed back to the zone under escort from at least two Chinese Coast Guard vessels, according to data from Marine Traffic…
Beijing's South China Sea Building Boom Grows
At first glance from above it looks like any clean and neatly planned small town, complete with sports grounds, neat roads and large civic buildings. But the town is on Subi reef in the Spratlys archipelago of the hotly contested South China Sea and, regional security experts believe, could soon be home to China's first troops based in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. Private sector data analysis reviewed by Reuters shows Subi, some 1,200 km (750 miles) from China's coast, is now home to nearly 400 individual buildings – far more than other Chinese islands.
Course Change for China-bound U.S. Sorghum Bulker
A vessel carrying 58,503 tonnes of sorghum from the United States switched its destination from China to South Korea early on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data. The Peak Pegasus loaded U.S. sorghum from trader ADM's Corpus Christi grain elevator in Texas and departed on April 3 for Nansha in southern China, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. It is now due to arrive in Gunsan in South Korea on May 10, according to the data. The cargo is one of almost two dozen bought by China but now stranded after Beijing said it would impose a hefty deposit on U.S. shipments of the grain in an anti-dumping probe.
Oil Backlog Off China Limits Prospects for Fresh Atlantic Basin Shipments
A backlog of crude cargoes has built up off the coast of China, limiting prospects for new shipments to the world's largest oil importer, trading and shipping sources said. The amount of oil floating in tankers off China has risen partly due to tax changes and an anti-pollution drive that have depressed oil demand from small, independent refiners, known as "teapots". Maintenance has curtailed run rates at others. This has combined with aggressive selling, particularly from West Africa, that pushed vessels to the region even when early warning signs showed crude demand could falter.
China: Sunken Tanker Sanchi May be Leaking HFO
A sunken Iranian oil tanker may be leaking heavy bunker fuel as well as light oil off the east coast of China and the best remedy was to recover the vessel, officials said on Friday. It was unclear how much bunker fuel was left aboard the tanker when it sank on Sunday after being ablaze for days but experts estimated it may have been carrying about 1,000 tonnes at the time of collision. "There have been multiple appearances of oil slicks of different sizes and types at the sinking spot and nearby... the slicks exceeded 200 sq kilometres (77 sq miles) on Thursday," Huo Chuanlin, of the State Oceanic Administration's Ecological Protection Department, told reporters. It was not immediately clear where the oil could wash up or the extent of the damage it could cause.
Oil from Sunken Iranian Tanker Diffusing in East China Sea
Oil from an Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea has diffused into four separate slicks, covering a combined area of just over 100 square kms (39 square miles), Chinese authorites said late on Wednesday. Earlier satellite imaging showed two large slicks, with the larger one also thicker and more concentrated, but the latest data had found four slicks ranging in size from 48 square kms (19 square miles) to 5.5 square kms (2.1 square miles), the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said. The large tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) sank in the worst oil ship disaster in decades on Sunday, raising worries about damage to the marine ecosystem. The bodies of two sailors were recovered from the ship while a third body was pulled from the sea near the vessel.
Amid Tension, China Carrier Group Sails through Taiwan Strait
A Chinese carrier group has sailed through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the self-ruled island from its giant neighbor but no unusual activity was detected, Taiwan said on Wednesday, amid heightened tension with Beijing. Beijing has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Taiwan since the election two years ago of President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, though she has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.
Iranian Tanker Produces 2 Slicks in East China Sea
An Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left two oil slicks covering a combined 109 square km (42 square miles), the Chinese government said, as maritime police scoured for damage and prepared to explore the wreck. Satellite imaging showed a slick of 69 square km (26.6 square miles) and a second 40 square km (15.4 square miles) slick, which is less thick and not as concentrated, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said in a statement late on Tuesday. The large tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) sank in the worst oil ship disaster in decades on Sunday, raising worries about damage to the marine ecosystem. The bodies of two sailors were recovered from the ship while a third body was pulled from the sea near the vessel. The remaining 29 crew of the ship are presumed dead.
Japan: Little Chance Sanchi Oil Slick Reaches Its Coast
Japan sees little chance of the oil spill from a stricken Iranian tanker that sank on Sunday in the East China Sea reaching its shores, an official at the nation’s environment ministry said on Tuesday. The large tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) sank in the worst oil ship disaster in decades and produced a large oil slick, Chinese media and Japanese authorities said on Monday, as worries grew over damage to the marine ecosystem. The vessel’s crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis are all believed to have perished in the incident.
Stricken Tanker Sinks, Leaves Large Slick in East China Sea
Two bodies, black box recovered from tanker before sinking; Iran says remaining 29 crew, passengers presumed dead. A stricken Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea on Sunday in the worst oil ship disaster in decades has produced a large oil slick, Chinese media and Japanese authorities said on Monday, as worries grew over damage to the marine ecosystem. The tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608) had been adrift and ablaze after crashing into the freighter CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) on Jan. 6. Strong winds had pushed it away from the Chinese coast, where the incident happened, and into Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Japan Coast Guard said oil had spread over an area 13 km (8.1 miles) long and 11 km (6.8 miles) wide…
Burning Tanker Drifts into Japan's Economic Zone
A stricken Iranian oil tanker continued exploding on Friday, hampering rescue efforts, Chinese state media reported, as Japan's Coast Guard said the ship drifted away from the Chinese coast and into Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The ship, which has been ablaze for almost a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 286 km (178 miles) northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima as of 0700 GMT on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.
Tanker Continues to Burn in East China Sea
Strong winds, high waves and toxic gases are hindering dozens of rescue boats struggling to locate missing sailors from a stricken oil tanker in the East China Sea and to extinguish a fire that has burned for the past three days on the ship. The poor conditions, with rain and waves as high as 3 metres (10 feet), frustrated efforts to tame the fire and search for the 31 remaining tanker crew members, China's Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Tuesday. The flames were forcing the South Korean Coast Guard's search and rescue team to stay as far as 3 miles (4.8 km) away from the tanker, two South Korean officials told Reuters.
Salvage, Rescue Crews Battle Oil Tanker Fire
Body of crew member found on board; casualty might be worst tanker oil spill since 1991 and concerns grow that tanker may explode, sink. Rescue crews wrestled to bring a blaze on an Iranian oil tanker off China's east coast under control on Monday as fire raged for a second day following a collision with a grain ship, while the body of one of the 32 missing crew members was found on aboard. Concerns were growing that the tanker, which hit a freight ship on Saturday night in the East China Sea and burst into flames, may explode and sink, the official China Central Television (CCTV) said on Monday, citing experts on the rescue team. Poor weather continued to hamper the rescue work, Lu Kang, a spokesman at China's foreign ministry, told a regular news briefing.
Typhoon Batters Hong Kong, China
Destructive winds, waves batter Hong Kong, south China. Typhoon Hato, a maximum category 10 storm, slammed into Hong Kong on Wednesday lashing the Asian financial hub with wind and rain that uprooted trees and forced most businesses to close, while in some places big waves flooded seaside streets. There were reports of 34 people injured in Hong Kong while in the city of Macau, across the Pearl River estuary, three people were killed, authorities there said. In Hong Kong, more than 450 flights were cancelled, financial markets suspended and schools closed as Hato bore down, the first category 10 storm to hit the city since 2012. "I've never seen one like this," Garrett Quigley, a longtime resident of Lantau island to the west of the city, said of the storm.