South China Sea News

15 May 2020

Chinese Survey Ship Leaves Malaysian Waters After Standoff

Haiyang Dizhi 8 seismic survey vessel (File photo: China Geologic Survey)

A Chinese survey ship that had been involved in a month-long standoff with a Malaysian oil exploration vessel in the South China Sea has left Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), shipping data showed on Friday.Since mid-April, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 had been surveying in the EEZ, close to where a drillship contracted by Malaysian state oil firm Petronas had been operating in waters claimed by Malaysia, Vietnam as well as China.The West Capella, the ship contracted by Petronas…

12 May 2020

Petronas Drillship Exits South China Sea After Standoff

© samtmendher / MarineTraffic.com

An oil exploration vessel contracted by Malaysian state energy company Petronas that was involved in a standoff with a Chinese survey vessel in the South China Sea left the disputed waters on Tuesday, three security sources and the vessel operator said.Petronas has been conducting exploration activities near an area claimed by Malaysia and Vietnam as well as by China since late last year. In mid-April, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 - the Chinese government survey vessel - started operating in the area…

08 May 2020

Vietnam Protests Beijing's 'Fishing Ban' in South China Sea

© chriss73 / Adobe Stock

Vietnam protested on Friday against what it calls China's unilateral fishing ban in the disputed South China Sea from May 1 to Aug. 16, weeks after it said Vietnamese boat had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel.Vietnam and China have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of water, called the East Sea by Vietnam."Vietnam demands that China not further complicate the situation in the South China Sea," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement.(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Toby Chopra)

06 May 2020

US Rearms to Nullify China's Missile Supremacy

File photo: A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is launched from the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George in the eastern Mediterranean Sea March 23, 2003. (U.S. Navy photo by Kenneth Moll)

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…

15 May 2020

Malaysia Calls for Peaceful End to South China Sea Standoff

Haiyang Dizhi 8 seismic survey vessel; Image Credit: China Geologic Survey (File Photo)

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…

22 Apr 2020

Australia Joins U.S. Ships in South China Sea Amid Rising Tension

Parramatta IV - Image Credit: Royal Australian Navy (File Photo)

An Australian frigate has joined three U.S. warships in the South China Sea near an area where a Chinese vessel is suspected to be exploring for oil, near waters also claimed by Vietnam and Malaysia, officials said on Wednesday.The warships arrived this week close to where the Chinese government survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 has been operating, which is in turn near where a vessel operated by Malaysia’s Petronas state oil company is conducting exploratory drilling, regional security sources have said.The U.S.

21 Apr 2020

Two U.S. Warships in South China Sea Amid China-Malaysia Standoff

USS America - Public Domain License

Two U.S. warships are operating in the South China Sea, the Navy said on Tuesday, with three regional security sources saying they were near an area of a standoff between China and Malaysia.The Haiyang Dizhi 8, a Chinese government research ship, was spotted last week conducting a survey close to an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia’s state oil company Petronas, months after it undertook a similar patrol off Vietnam.The incident prompted the United States to call on China to stop its “bullying behavior” in the disputed waters…

20 Apr 2020

U.S. Tells China to Stop 'Bullying Behavior' in South China Sea

 The Chinese seismic vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 - Image Credit: China Geologic Survey (File Photo)

The United States called on China on Saturday to stop "bullying behavior" in the South China Sea and said it was concerned by reports of Beijing's "provocative actions" aimed at offshore oil and gas developments in the disputed waters.Three regional security sources told Reuters on Friday that a Chinese government survey ship was tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia's state oil company Petronas in those waters.The vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 was earlier this week spotted off Vietnam…

17 Apr 2020

Chinese, Malaysian Offshore Oil Vessels in South China Sea Standoff

File Photo: West Capella Drillship - Image by Samtmendher  / MarineTraffic

A Chinese government survey ship is tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia's state oil company Petronas in disputed waters in the South China Sea, three regional security sources said on Friday.China's Haiyang Dizhi 8 entered waters near Malaysia on Thursday, according to ship tracking website Marine Traffic.On Friday, it was close to the Petronas-operated West Capella, according to the security sources, who did not want to be identified because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

16 Apr 2020

Chinese Seismic Vessel Seen Moving Near Malaysia Amid Rising South China Sea Tensions

Image Credit: China Geologic Survey (File Photo)

A Chinese government survey ship embroiled in a standoff with Vietnamese vessels moved south near Malaysia, shipping data showed Thursday, amid accusations that China is using the pandemic to assert its presence in the South China Sea.The Haiyang Dizhi 8 was spotted off Vietnam this week, returning after being closely tracked last year in the resource-rich waters, a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China's sweeping maritime claims.The ship appeared to have started a survey in waters 352 kilometers (218 miles) off the coasts of Brunei and Malaysia on Thursday…

14 Apr 2020

Chinese Seismic Vessel Returns to Waters off Vietnam Amid Virus 'Distraction' Charges

 File Photo; Image by Seiji Chiba - MarineTraffic

A Chinese ship embroiled in a standoff with Vietnamese vessels last year has returned to waters near Vietnam as the United States accused China of pushing its presence in the South China Sea while other claimants are pre-occupied with the coronavirus.Vietnamese vessels last year spent months shadowing the Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel in resource-rich waters that are a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China's sweeping maritime claims.On Tuesday…

06 Apr 2020

Vietnam Protests Beijing's Sinking of South China Sea Boat

© worawut17 / Adobe Stock

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

07 May 2020

Opinion: Maritime Freedom & the Global Commons

Freedom of Navigation: The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) escorts the merchant vessel Tomahawk through the Strait of Hormuz.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

“Freedom” – the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic governmentIt has been decades since international relations in the world order dictated true competition for sea control, sea lines of communication, access to world markets, and diplomatic partnerships. However, it is becoming increasingly alarming that nations such as Iran, China and Russia seek to accumulate/consolidate power and re-define international maritime norms, potentially at the peril of diplomatic…

04 Feb 2020

LNG Tanker Diverted from China in Sign of Weaker Demand

© nikkytok / Adobe Stock

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker that had been heading to China has been diverted, data intelligence firm Kpler and two industry sources said on Tuesday, probably due to lower demand for the fuel as businesses are hit by the coronavirus outbreak.The Tangguh Foja tanker loaded a cargo at the Tangguh LNG plant in Indonesia last month and had been heading to China's Rudong terminal in Jiangsu province, Refinitiv shipping data shows.It was diverted towards the South China Sea on Jan.

03 Jan 2020

Indonesia Boosts Patrols After Chinese 'Trespass'

(Photo: Indonesia Directorate General of Sea Transportation)

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…

24 Oct 2019

Chinese Ship Exits Vietnam's Waters After Disputed Surveys

Haiyang Dizhi 8 (© smp / MarineTraffic.com)

A Chinese oil survey vessel that has been embroiled in a tense standoff with Vietnamese vessels in the South China Sea left Vietnamese-controlled waters on Thursday after more than three months, marine data showed.The Chinese vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, was speeding away from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone towards China on Thursday under the escort of at least two Chinese ships, according to data from Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessels.China claims almost all the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea but neighbors Brunei…

17 Oct 2019

Malaysia Readies for the Worst in South China Sea

File Image: A US Navy convoy underway. Credit: US Navy)

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…

09 Oct 2019

Austal, Cerberus Mull JV on Hanjin's Philippine Yard

AdobeStock / © Bernell11

Australian shipbuilder Austal Ltd and U.S. private equity firm are considering a joint bid for a strategically located but debt-laden Philippine shipyard, the facility's trustee said on Wednesday.Hanjin Philippines, a unit of South Korea's Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd, in January defaulted on $1.3 billion in loans, of which $900 million is owed to South Korean banks and the rest to five Philippine lenders.Austal and Cerberus are interested in the distressed shipyard…

26 Sep 2019

CPIH, Equinor Team Up on Offshore Wind

Image: Equinor

Chinese power giant China Power International Holding (CPIH) and Norwegian energy firm Equinor have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on offshore wind projects off China and Europe.“China is rapidly increasing its use of renewables and natural gas. The country is set to become the world’s biggest offshore wind market by 2030. As an offshore wind major, Equinor is excited to collaborate with CPIH to develop offshore wind” says executive vice president New Energy Solutions…

13 Sep 2019

SE Asian Ship Piracy Levels Steady

ReCAAP ISC has reported a total of eight incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in south-east Asia during August 2019. (Photo © Adobe Stock / VanderWolf Images)

ReCAAP ISC has issued the August 2019 Report on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia which notes that a total of eight incidents was reported in Asia in August and that of these eight incidents, two were piracy incidents and six were incidents of armed robbery. There wer no reports of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah; and there were no hijackings of ships for the theft of oil cargo but the abduction of crew for ransom in theSulu-Celebes Seas and the waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern.

28 Aug 2019

Duterte Readies to Raise Ruling with China

A Chinese warship underway (file image: AdobeStock /  © Vanderwolfe)

When Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte visits China this week, he'll need to salvage something from a "pivot" to Beijing that has left him empty-handed, and exposed his neighbours to a new level of brinkmanship in the South China Sea.Despite his huge domestic popularity and great affection for China, Duterte is under growing pressure to push back at its growing maritime assertiveness. After avoiding the issue for three years, he has vowed to raise with President Xi Jinping a 2016…

25 Aug 2019

Chinese Survey Ship Nears Vietnam Coast

A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam's coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China's actions in the disputed waterways.The Haiyang Dizhi 8 vessel first entered Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) early last month where it began a weeks-long seismic survey, triggering a tense standoff between military and coastguard vessels from Vietnam and China.The Chinese vessel…

13 Aug 2019

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…

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News