Marine Link
Thursday, May 24, 2018

South China News

Rosneft: South China Sea Drilling is Within Vietnam Waters

(Photo: Rosneft)

US, India Consider Joint Patrols in South China Sea

U.S. Navy file photo of USS Lassen (DDG 82), Mar. 2015.

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway. Washington wants its regional allies and other Asian nations to take a more united stance against China over the South China Sea, where tensions have spiked in the wake of Beijing's construction of seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago.

China Criticizes US over Maritime Patrol Proposal in South China Sea

Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet: US Navy Photo

China asked the United States to take no position on the South China Sea issue after US Navy Officer Robert Thomas promised to back the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in patrolling areas of the waterway. "We hope the United States will strictly honor its commitment of not taking positions or sides on territorial sovereignty issues," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei. The U.S. navy officer suggested on Tuesday that the Southeast Asian countries form a combined maritime force to patrol areas of the South China Sea.

Legally China Can't Claim South China Sea: Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo:  The national association for Amateur Radio)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said China'a claims to the majority of the South China Sea have "no legal foundation in international law," he told Japan's Yomiuri newspaper. "We need peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It is important to have political and security stability to build up our economic growth," Widodo was quoted as saying. This was the first time Widodo, who took office in October, has taken a position on the South China Sea dispute. China has had occasionally…

US, Australia and EU Warn China on South China Sea

Pic: International Affairs.org

China was warned by many the United States and the European Union  that it should respect a ruling later this year on its dispute with the Philippines over territory in the South China Sea, reports Reuters. In a message has been sent to China, which is attempting to turn the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea into military strongholds, US warned that its self-serving actions are unacceptable. With the South China Sea in mind, a joint statement by the leaders…

Kerry: Militarization Does Not Help South China Sea Resolution

The militarization of facilities in the South China Sea does not help efforts to resolve maritime claims in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said before he was to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.   The United States is "encouraging the peaceful resolution of competing maritime claims in the South China Sea - a goal that is definitely not helped by the militarization of facilities in that region," Kerry told lawmakers in congressional testimony.   (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed)    

Chine Cruise Ship's New Destination: Disputed South China Sea

Image: China State Shipbuilding Corporation

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.

US-ASEAN Connect Initiative, Thanks to South China Sea

ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. Photo by US-ASEAN Business Council, Inc.

The United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are taking their relationship to a new level, thanks to heated tensions in the South China Sea. China, a key ally of North Korea, has said its committed to denuclearizing the Northth Korea, but has not been to agree with the US or the United Nations on how to achieve that goal. Asean leaders have reiterated their stand on wanting a peaceful resolution to the overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Indonesia Says It Has No Conflict with China in South China Sea

Indonesia has no conflict with China over the South China Sea, an Indonesian palace spokesman said on Wednesday, days after eight Chinese crew members were detained for allegedly fishing illegally in the Natuna Sea. "There is no conflict between Indonesia and China related to the South China Sea," said presidential spokesman Johan Budi told reporters. The Natuna Sea is an area between Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian province of Sarawak on Borneo island, at the southern end of the South China Sea. Indonesia has raised concerns in the past that China's claims in the South China Sea include waters near the Natuna Islands. China has accepted Indonesia's sovereignty over the islands.

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.

China Breaks Ground on South China Sea Lighthouse Project

China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity. The reefs are known in English as Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef. The Ministry of Transport did not answer calls for comment. Last year, the Philippines accused China of reclaiming land on Johnson South Reef, apparently to build an airstrip.

South China Sea Boils Up

Photo: Council on Foreign Relations

The overlapping territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam have recently been moving from bad to worse. Vietnam is seeking to upgrade its air defences by acquiring western fighter jets and drones, a move which would further militarize a dispute with Beijing over territorial claims in the South China Sea. Taiwan's coast guard has commissioned its biggest ships for duty in the form of two 3,000-ton patrol vessels…

G7 May Address South China Sea Dispute

Challenges in the South China Sea. Map by Transatlantic Academy

AFP reports that the G7 summit would express concern about unilateral efforts to assert sovereignty claims in the disputed South China Sea. John Kirton, director of think-tank the G7 Research Group, has said maritime disputes between China and its neighbours would be on the agenda of the summit in Germany. Japan's Yomiuri newspaper also said Saturday the summit would take up the issue. Citing sources, the paper said a closing statement would express concern about unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

China: Stakeholders Should Manage S.China Sea Differences Constructively

China and the United States should manage their differences over disputed waters in the South China Sea constructively, one of China's top military officials has said. Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission, told General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the two sides should "refrain from actions detrimental to the relations between the two countries and the two militaries", state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday. Fang and Dunford discussed the South China Sea in a video link-up on Thursday, it said. The discussion comes at a time of heightened tension between China and the United States…

Containership Alliance Launches Asia-Europe Service

Members of the G6 Alliance announced today that their groundbreaking cooperation in Asia-Europe container shipping will begin operation in the first week of March – one month ahead of schedule. “We are eager to roll out our competitive products to benefit customers by offering a comprehensive and increased coverage of 40 ports in the Asia-Europe market with more sailing frequency,” the members said in a statement. The G6 Alliance, serving the Asia-to-Europe-and-Mediterranean market was announced last December. The G6 Alliance members are the carriers in the Grand Alliance and New World Alliance: APL, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

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.

Japan Demands Chinese Halt to South China Sea Energy Play

Japan called on China on Tuesday to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. Japan's Defense Ministry added the demand to its annual defense review after hawkish members of the ruling party complained that its original draft was too soft on China, a ministry official said. China resumed exploration in the East China Sea two years ago, the report said. In 2012, Japan's government had angered Beijing and purchased a disputed island chain there. Before then, Beijing had curtailed activities under an agreement with Japan to jointly develop undersea resources in disputed areas.

Asian Nations Call for Stop to South China Sea Land Work

Calls grow for China to halt land reclamation. Southeast Asian countries on Tuesday backed a U.S. call to halt land reclamation in the South China Sea, underlining unease in the region over Beijing's continued expansion on disputed islands. China has said it does not want the issue raised at this week's meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Kuala Lumpur. But Malaysia Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said member nations agreed that "exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate tension must be enhanced" in the South China Sea. Philippines Foreign Minister Albert Del Rosario accused China of carrying out "massive reclamation activities" in the disputed waters.

China sets up South China Sea environment protection fund

China has set up a 15 million yuan ($2.25 million) environmental protection fund for the South China Sea having already spent double that in the past four years, the Xinhua state news agency said on Monday. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and it criticised environmental destruction in the waters. China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case. The tribunal found that China's large-scale land reclamation and construction of artificial islands has caused severe harm to coral and violated its obligation to preserve fragile marine environments. China has repeatedly denied damaging the environment in the South China Sea.

China Hopes U.S. Can Help Ease S.China Sea Tension

China hopes the United States can "help and not cause problems" in the disputed South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday ahead of next week's visit to Beijing by President Donald Trump. The United States has criticised China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement. U.S. Navy ships have also carried out freedom of navigation patrols in the area, angering China. Speaking to reporters about Trump's trip, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said China has indisputable sovereignty over islands and surrounding waters in the South China Sea.

China: No Militarization of South China Sea

China has not militarised the South China Sea, but there are certain countries which keep flexing their muscles who should stop hyping up the issue, China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the United States military would sail and fly wherever international law allowed, including the disputed South China Sea. Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan

THE Alliance Sets Out Service Plans

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The members of THE Alliance announced the details of the plan for their product starting from April 2017. THE Alliance plans to deploy a fleet of more than 240 modern ships in the Asia /Europe, North Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade lanes including the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf/Red Sea. The start of THE Alliance as the most integrated liner shipping consortia is scheduled for April 2017 (subject to completion of all relevant regulatory requirements). “The product of THE…

China: South China Sea War Games Underway

China's military carried out war games in the disputed South China Sea this week, with warships, submarines and fighter jets simulating cruise missile strikes on ships, the official People's Liberation Army Daily said on Friday. China claims almost all of the energy-rich waters 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 U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander on Monday warned of a possible arms race in the disputed South China Sea which could engulf the region, as nations become increasingly tempted to use military force to settle territorial spats.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion 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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