China Closes The Door On Vietnam’s Oil And Gas Ambitions

offshore rig

 

As China tightens the noose over Vietnam’s ability to drill for oil and gas in its own UN-mandated 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the country is turning to solar energy and other renewables to make up for lost ground.

Over the weekend, Singapore-based Sunseap Group broke ground on Vietnam’s largest solar farm, a 168-MW project in Ninh Thuan province. The $150 million project will become operational in June 2019 and supply more than 200 kWh of electricity to the national power grid annually, Sunseap said in a statement. Continue reading

India To Build Major Overseas Military Base Off Africa To Combat China

 

India is preparing to construct a significant overseas military base on an island in Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.

Last month, Seychelles and India signed a twenty-year agreement, permitting the Indian military to build an airbase and naval installations on Assumption Island, a small island in the Outer Islands of Seychelles north of Madagascar, said Seychelles News Agency. Continue reading

China Has Bought Brunei’s Silence in South China Sea Dispute

 

China’s takeover of the strategic South China Sea region is ‘steering the world toward war.’

In discussions about the South China Sea dispute, we often hear about China claiming nearly the entire resource-rich, strategic region. And we also often hear about rival claimants—nations such as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines—who dispute China’s claims. International law says these smaller nations rightfully own the portions of the sea along their coasts, so they often cry foul of Beijing’s claims to their territory. Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte derides US for past inaction in South China Sea

Inaction, as Duterte puts it – and under the Obama administration – has lead to China’s unchecked rise in Asia during the last eight years. It will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible to reverse this tide without a major war that would jeopardize many lives. China’s hold was solidified with the artificial islands the Obama administration did nothing about.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.

“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.” Continue reading

Russia’s Arctic Dreams Have Chinese Characteristics

The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading

China must prepare for ‘people’s war at sea’: Defence minister

BEIJING: China’s defence minister has urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty, state media reported on Tuesday.

Chang Wanquan’s comments came several weeks after an international tribunal dismissed the country’s claim to most of the South China Sea, a judgement it angrily rejected.

Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea”, Xinhua news agency said. Continue reading

How Russia Could Annex the Arctic

Russia’s latest military exercise could be it’s latest step toward claiming maritime borders in the Arctic.

Tensions have increased a notch in the Arctic with the news that the Russians have started a major military exercise in the region. Nearly 40,000 servicemen, 41 warships and 15 submarines will be taking part in drills to make them combat-ready—a major show of strength in a region that has long been an area of strategic interest to Russia.

Russia might be reshaping national borders in Europe as it reasserts its geopolitical influence, but the equivalent borders in the Arctic have never been firmly established. Historically it has proven much harder for states to assert sovereignty over the ocean than over land, even in cases where waters are ice-covered for most of the year. Continue reading

Why Is Turkey Increasing Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean?

WASHINGTON—On September 23, the drill ship SAIPEM 10000 — built in South Korea at the cost of $250 million and flying the flag of the Bahamas — arrived in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus to begin exploring for gas under a license awarded to an Italian-South Korean consortium, ENI-KOGAS. The Cyprus government hopes that additional discoveries over the next 18 months in its EEZ will be sufficient to make its plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the island, to condition gas for export, commercially viable.

The Turkish authorities declared that the drill ship violated Turkey’s area of maritime jurisdiction and sent the Corvette Bafra to monitor operations. Another Turkish warship, the Gelibolu, engaged in planned maneuvers south of Cyprus ostensibly to ensure maritime safety in the eastern Mediterranean. The Cyprus foreign minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said that exploration would continue despite Turkey’s “potential harassment.” Continue reading

Turkish warship monitors Cyprus gas exploration

…and now we have factual proof as to why a German-led European Union had pushed Russia out of Cyprus and raided the cash vaults. It had nothing to do with corrupt Russian bankers, businessmen or shady politics. The hit was motivated by solidifying Europe’s future energy independence and positioning EU as a future world superpower. In previous posts, it was also mentioned that Greece would be the future corridor for forwarding energy from the Mediterranean, Middle East and northern African nations. Don’t count the ‘broke’ nation out of the game.

 

Turkey has sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast.

Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday.

In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities.

Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Wednesday that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.

Continue reading

China Retaliates Against US Naval Presence with Ships in Hawaiian Waters

China appears to feel that its naval buildup has progressed sufficiently to allow it to retaliate against the US naval presence in the East China Sea by sending surveillance ships to Hawaiian waters.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) electronic reconnaissance ship spotted in Hawaiian waters is most likely of about 4,000-ton displacement and is equipped with various electronic gear for eavesdropping on radio communications and tracking ships and aircraft. It is also believed to have jamming equipment to interfere with the radio communications of other ships. Continue reading