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.
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...
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
US Delivers Ship to Vietnam Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard transferred a high-endurance cutter to its Vietnamese counterpart in Honolulu, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said on Friday, in the latest effort to deepen ties with its former foe. The move follows an increase in exchanges between the two countries, ahead of a visit to the United States next week by the Vietnamese prime minister and a recent delivery of six patrol boats to the Vietnamese coast guard. The ship will help the Vietnam Coast Guard carry out maritime law enforcement…
US Freedom of Navigation Ops Targeted 13 Countries Last Year
The U.S. military carried out freedom of navigation operations against 13 countries last year, including several against China for what it views as excessive claims to maritime and airspace jurisdiction, the Pentagon said in an annual report on Monday. The Defense Department carried out multiple freedom of navigation operations against China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, the Philippines and Vietnam, the two-page report said. In operations targeting Chinese claims, the Pentagon challenged Chinese jurisdiction in the airspace above its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone as well as restrictions it has attempted to impose on aircraft flying through an Air Defense Identification Zone off the Chinese coast. Beijing has been extremely sensitive about U.S.
Chinese Spy Ship Enters Japanese Territorial Waters
A Chinese military ship entered the waters of south-western Japan on Wednesday, EFE news reported quoting government officials. This is the first such incident in over a decade and comes a week after a Chinese navy ship sailed near the disputed Senkaku islands. Ap reported Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko as saying that a Maritime Self-Defense Force plane spotted the ship in Japanese waters west of Kuchinoerabu island in southern Japan before dawn. The ship sailed out of Japan's waters about 90 minutes later.
Indonesian Navy fires on Chinese boat, injures fisherman
An Indonesian naval vessel fired on a Chinese fishing boat on Friday, injuring one person, China's foreign ministry said, the countries' third reported confrontation this year near a chain of islands as regional tensions mount in the South China Sea. Beijing had made official protests over the incident, the ministry said in its statement on Sunday, and urged Indonesia not to take any more actions to complicate the situation. Indonesia's navy said it had fired warning shots at several boats with Chinese flags that it said were fishing illegally near the Natuna Islands, but did not mention any injuries. Indonesia is not part of a broader regional dispute over China's reclamation activities in the South China Sea and Beijing's claims on swathes of key waterways.
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.
Japan, China, South Korea Plan Maritime Talks
China is working with Japan and South Korea to arrange foreign minister talks next week, pairing a hard-line stance on maritime issues with a greater willingness for dialogue, says a report in SCMP. The Tokyo Shimbun daily said the three countries were making arrangements for the meeting to be held on Aug. 23 and 24 in Tokyo to lay the groundwork for a three-way summit that Tokyo is set to host this year. According to Reuters, last month, a senior Japanese foreign ministry official said Japan was considering holding the meeting in late August…
Chinese Coast Guard Involved in Most S.China Sea Clashes
Increasingly assertive action by China's coast guard ships in the South China Sea risks destabilising the region, according to the authors of new research tracking maritime law enforcement incidents across the vital trade route. While the risks of full-blown naval conflict dominates strategic fears over the disputed waterway, the danger of incidents involving coast guards should not be underestimated, said Bonnie Glaser, a regional security expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
Philippines Says Chinese Vessels Have Left Disputed Shoal
Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on Friday, calling the Chinese departure a "welcome development". Philippine fishermen can access the shoal unimpeded for the first time in four years, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, capping off a startling turnaround in ties since his country rattled China by challenging its maritime claims at an international tribunal. The departure of the Chinese coast guard ships comes after President Rodrigo Duterte's high-profile visit to Beijing and his repeated requests for China to end its blockade of the shoal, a tranquil lagoon rich in fish stocks.
South China Sea Arbitration: Implications for Maritime and O&G
A recent decision by an international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, has significant implications for other maritime disputes, freedom of navigation, and future oil and gas claims in the Arctic. The arbitral award issued on July 12, 2016, by a unanimous five-member panel or Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the dispute between the Philippines and China over rocks and elevations in the South China Sea, sounded a clarion call for the rule of law and the clearly defined…