CNOOC Developing New Deep Sea Gas Block in South China Sea
China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC has started developing a new gas field in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.The Lingshui 17-2 gas field is the first deep sea gas block fully operated by a Chinese company, Xinhua said citing CNOOC officials.The deep sea project, which was discovered in 2014, is 150 km (94 miles) south of China's southern Hainan island, with an average operational depth of 1,500 metres, according to a Reuters report from that year.CNOOC is ready to start building a subsea level platform used for drilling, Xinhua said.(Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Tom Hogue)
China Confirms Carrier Conducted South China Sea Drills
China's sole aircraft carrier conducted drills in the South China Sea, the navy said, days after neighbouring Taiwan said the carrier and accompanying ships had passed 90 nautical miles south of the island amid renewed tension between the two sides. The Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier and accompanying warships sailed round the east coast of Taiwan in what China called a routine exercise complying with international law. The carrier's J-15 fighters conducted flight exercises in "complex sea conditions" on Monday, the People's Liberation Army Navy said on its official microblog late the same day. The carrier group also ran helicopter exercises, it said, but did not give details on the exact location.
China's Flattop "Tests Weapons" in South China Sea
A group of Chinese warships led by its sole aircraft carrier is testing weapons and equipment in exercises this week in the South China Sea that are going to plan, China's foreign ministry said Wednesday. Exercises by the ships, in particular the aircraft carrier Liaoning, since last month have unnerved China's neighbours, especially at a time of heightened strain with self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and given long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea. China says the Soviet-built Liaoning and the other ships conduct routine exercises that comply with international law. "The Liaoning aircraft carrier group in the South China Sea is carrying out scientific research and training…
China Launches South China Sea Cruise Ship Tour
A new Chinese cruise ship has embarked on its maiden voyage to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, the latest effort by Beijing to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway. The Changle Princess sailed from Sanya on the southern Chinese island province of Hainan on Thursday afternoon with 308 passengers on a four-day voyage, Xinhua said. The new ship can carry 499 people and has 82 guest rooms with dining, entertainment, shopping, medical and postal services on board, it added. Tourists will be able to visit the three islands in the Crescent group of the Paracels, Xinhua said.
Chine Cruise Ship's New Destination: Disputed South China Sea
China has commissioned a new cruise ship to take tourists to islands claimed by Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea, reinforcing its claim over the area, reports Reuters. The ship called Changle Gongzhu, or Changle Princess, sailed from Sanya with 308 passengers on board. Its first voyage will last four days and three nights, said an official with Hainan Strait Shipping, owner of the vessel. The Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea where Beijing is locked in maritime disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, is also claimed by Vietnam.
CEFC Bags Bunker Licence for Zhoushan Free Trade Zone, China
CEFC China Energy was awarded a licence by Zhoushan Free Trade Zone for supply marine bunker fuel off the east coast of China to vessels on international voyages, reports Reuters. The report quoted two CEFC officials saying that the license is to supply bunker fuel from bonded storage to vessels that call at the Zhoushan area. The Zhoushan Free Trade Zone is in the coastal province of Zhejiang and is a new free trade zone the Chinese government approved earlier this year to boost commodities trade.
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.
COSCO to Roll out Cruise to Xisha Islands
China’s state-owned COSCO Shipping Corp plans to launch cruise services in the South China Sea in July, reports Reuters. The first route is expected to travel from Sanya to the Yongle Island, part of the Xisha Islands in Hainan province. Its part of Beijing’s plans to transform several islands in the disputed waterway into tourist destinations to bolster its territorial claims. "It is practical to stimulate the local economy through development of tourism, logistics and infrastructure facilities," Xu Lirong, chairman of COSCO Shipping, said.
Vietnam Protests Chinese Live-firing in South China Sea
Vietnam on Tuesday issued a strong condemnation of Chinese military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, amid rising tension between the two countries. The Maritime Safety Administration of China's southern province of Hainan, which oversees the South China Sea, said last month there would be live fire drills around the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam claims, until September 2. "Vietnam strongly objects this action by China and seriously requests China to respect Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement. "Vietnam once again asserts…
China to Hold Military Drill in South China Sea
China’s maritime safety administration announced China’s military's plans exercises in the disputed South China Sea this week, adding to tensions ahead of an international tribunal’s ruling that is expected to challenge Beijing’s maritime claims in the area. The naval drills, which will cover the area east of China’s Hainan Island all the way to and including the Paracels, will be held on July 5-11, Reuters reports, citing a brief statement published online. The drills will be ending July 11, the day before the United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague is expected to issue its ruling.
China Admiral: 'Freedom of Navigation Patrols' could end 'in disaster'
Freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies in the South China Sea could end "in disaster", a senior Chinese admiral has said, a warning to the United States after last week's ruling against Beijing's claims in the area. China has refused to recognise the ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated its vast territorial claims in the South China Sea and did not take part in the proceedings brought by the Philippines. It has reacted angrily to calls by Western countries and Japan for the decision to be adhered to. China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually.
China to Add 8 Cruises to Push Tourism in South China Sea
Three State-owned enterprises from the shipping, tourism and construction sectors will cooperate to equip up to eight cruise liners and offer diversified sightseeing services to tap the travel market in the South China Sea, says China Daily. Sanya International Cruise Development Co Ltd, a joint venture by COSCO Shipping, China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp and China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will buy between five and eight ships. In addition to buying between five and eight ships, the plan calls for the construction of new docks in the resort city of Sanya.
Sea Ice Could Disrupt Shipping in Northern China
A unit of China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Friday issued a blue alert for sea ice in a key port area in the north of the country, potentially disrupting commodities shipments, as temperatures in the region plummet. Sea ice in the Liaodong Bay, the northern arm of China's Bohai Sea, now extends 67 nautical miles (124 km) from the shoreline, the North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center said in an 0700 GMT alert. Ice also extends 18 nautical miles out in the northern part of the Yellow Sea, the Center said.
Four High Speed Ferries Ordered at Aulong
Aulong Shipbuilding, a joint venture company between Australian shipbuilder Austal and Guandong Jianglong Shipbuilding of China, has secured contracts for four new high speed ferries. Under the recently awarded A$20 million (US$15.6 million) contracts, Aulong will design and build four 42-meter high speed catamarans for Xidao Dazhou Tourism Co Ltd. Construction will commence from Aulong’s Zhongshan shipyard in Guandong Province in March 2018, with delivery scheduled for early 2019.
Naptha Tanker Explodes at Southern China Port
An oil tanker carrying 3,400 tonnes of naphtha exploded during discharge at a southern Chinese port on Thursday and one person on board was missing, official Xinhua news agency reported. The rescue team said explosions occurred in the engine room as the tanker was discharging at Dongfang port in China's southernmost island province of Hainan. Reporting by Chen Aizhu
China Plans More Military Drills in South China Sea
China will carry out military drills in the South China Sea all day on Thursday, the country's maritime safety administration said on Wednesday, ordering all other shipping to stay away. China routinely holds drills in the disputed waterway, and the latest exercises come less than a week after a U.S. navy destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands, prompting a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area. The maritime administration gave coordinates for an area south of the Chinese island province of Hainan and northwest of the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, but controlled by China. The brief statement gave no other details, apart from prohibiting other ships from entering the area.
China Says Latest South China Sea Drill Was SAR Exercise
China's latest drill in the South China Sea was a normal search and rescue exercise, the defence ministry said on Thursday, less than a week after a U.S. navy destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands, provoking a warning from Chinese warships to leave. China routinely holds drills in the busy waterway, where Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have rival claims. The search and rescue exercises were being conducted off the coast of the island province of Hainan and were regular drills forming part of annual plans, a defence ministry spokesman, Wu Qian, told a monthly news briefing, but gave no further details. China's maritime safety administration said the exercises would run all day on Thursday, and ordered all other shipping to keep away.
Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea
Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.
China: South China Sea Drills 'Routine'
China's Defence Ministry said on Thursday the military was carrying out routine training in the South China Sea, but would not comment on the presence of China's sole operational aircraft carrier there. Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off China's Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirmed a Chinese carrier group had…
Philippines Eyes Exploration Deal with China in S.China Sea
The Philippines is looking to seal a pact with China within a few months to jointly explore for oil and gas in a part of the busy South China Sea waterway claimed by both countries, a Philippine official said on Monday. In February, the two countries agreed to set up a special panel to work out how to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty. "We're trying to see if we can achieve an agreement…
China to Set up Hainan Free Trade Zone by 2020, Port by 2025
China aims to establish a free trade zone in Hainan by 2020 and will encourage multinationals to set up their international and regional headquarters in the province, state news agency Xinhua reported citing a government document. The guidance was jointly issued by the ruling Communist Party and State Council, Xinhua said. It comes after President Xi Jinping announced on Friday that the country would grant foreign firms greater economic freedom in the southernmost province. Known for its sandy beaches and resort-lined coast…
China: Civil Charter Flights to South China Sea Outpost
China has begun daily civilian charter flights to Woody Island in the disputed South China Sea after approved the airport there for civil operations, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday. China claims almost all of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims. The first flight took off on Wednesday from Haikou, the provincial capital of China's southern island province of Hainan, and will run every day with tickets costing 1,200 yuan ($172.77) one way, Xinhua said. Woody Island, in the Paracels which are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, is the seat of what China calls Sansha city that is its administrative centre for the South China Sea.
Chinese Carrier Docks After Drill Amid Taiwan Tension
China's sole aircraft carrier has arrived at a naval base on the southern Chinese province of Hainan, a senior Taiwanese military officer said on Wednesday, after drills that took it around self-ruled Taiwan, an island China claims as its own. Taiwan warned on Tuesday that "the threat of our enemies is growing day by day", as Chinese warships led by the carrier sailed towards Hainan through the disputed South China Sea. The Chinese drill comes amid renewed tension over Taiwan, which China says is ineligible for state-to-state relations, following U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen that upset Beijing.