British Royal Navy Vessel Reports North Korean Illicit Ship-to-Ship Transfer in East China Sea

The British Royal Navy successfully spotted and reported the illicit activity to the United Nations. On April 5, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy announced that it had successfully reported on an instance of North Korean illicit ship-to-ship transfers at sea to the United Nations as part of its sanctions enforcement efforts in the Indo-Pacific region. In collaboration with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, HMS Montrose, a Duke-class Royal Navy frigate, detected what the British government said was a “ship of unknown nationality” near a North Korean vessel carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer.…

East Coast Rail Link back on after Malaysia, China agree to slash cost by over 30%

KUALA LUMPUR: After months of negotiation, Putrajaya and Beijing have agreed to proceed with the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) at a cost of RM44 billion (US$10.6 billion), slashing more than 30 per cent off the initial projected cost for a shorter route. According to a statement issued by Malaysia’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday (Apr 12), a supplementary agreement was signed after talks involving the two governments and their respective companies. Advertisement “We are pleased to announce that the construction cost of Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL…

More disputes likely over South China Sea issues: Peking University think tank, East Asia News & Top Stories

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – China will likely face more disputes when pushing for progress in negotiations and cooperation regarding the South China Sea, according to a new situation report released on Tuesday (April 9). The report suggests that China should enhance maritime strategic dialogue with the United States, closely monitor subtle moves by some Asean countries, and persuade extra-regional powers such as Japan, Australia and Britain to help ease tensions in the region. The South China Sea Situation Report was published by the South China Sea Strategic Situation…

Controversial Chinese oil rig drills first well in east South China Sea | China | South China Sea | oil | rig | drilling | islands | disputed | indigenous | US | Philippines | Vietnam | Haiyang Shiyou 981 | HYSY 981

An indigenously-developed deep-sea semi-submersible drilling platform has completed drilling its first deep-water development in east South China sea, according to the Chinese state-owned publication, Global Times. With a measured wellbore depth 4,660 metres and a true vertical depth (the distance from the well to the surface) of 2,529 meters, it is claimed to be the first deep-water well in operation by a Chinese-manufactured platform. The $1 billion platform was built by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and was launched in 2012. That same year, the company’s chairman, Wang…

Taiwan condemns China after jets fly past maritime line, East Asia News & Top Stories

TAIPEI (REUTERS) – Taiwan on Sunday (March 31) condemned what it called a “provocative” move from China after two Chinese fighter jets flew past a maritime line amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing. Earlier on Sunday, Taiwan scrambled aircraft to “drive away” two Chinese fighter jets which it said flew past a maritime border in Taiwan Strait, the self-ruled island’s Defence Ministry said in a statement late on Sunday. The ministry said China’s move had “seriously impacted regional safety and stability”. There was no immediate reaction from Beijing. China…

Japan Scrambles Fighter Jets to Intercept 4 Chinese Bombers Over East China Sea

The Chinese PLAAF flew long-range bombers and fighter jets through the Miyako Strait on March 30. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) sent four Xian H-6K long-range bombers, one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic countermeasures aircraft, one Tupolev Tu-154MD electronic intelligence plane, and at least two fighter jets through international airspace between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako in the East China Sea on March 30 as part of a military exercise, Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement. According to the MoD, Japanese airspace was not…

To Israel, Golan Heights decision a no-brainer: Occupying territory gained in a defensive war is justifiable – Middle East

Analysis To Israel, Golan Heights decision a no-brainer: Occupying territory gained in a defensive war is justifiable Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to cut short his visit to Washington after a barrage of rockets from Gaza prompted Israeli airstrikes in response on Monday. But on the flight back to Jerusalem, officials were optimistic about the state of U.S.-Israel relations. One senior Israeli official on the plane, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss bilateral relations, pointed to the Trump administration’s recognition of the occupied…

US B-52H Bombers Train With Japan Air Self Defense Force Over East China Sea

The U.S. Air Force has been stepping up its bomber missions over Asian waters in recent months. Two U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers conducted a training mission with the U.S. Navy and Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) over the East China Sea on March 20, according to the U.S. military. “Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base [AFB], Guam, and conducted integration training with the U.S. Navy, Koku Jieitai [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] and F-15C Eagles assigned to the 18th Wing, Kadena…

Domestic issues of big powers have global consequences: Experts, East Asia News & Top Stories

The trans-border political whirlwinds of today, including China’s militarisation of the South China Sea and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure push, have been driven primarily by domestic concerns, experts told the Japan Symposium organised by the Milken Institute think-tank yesterday. China’s leaders have seen how Brexit and the French “yellow vest” protests resulted from a segment of the population being alienated by capitalism, the forum heard. In this regard, China’s power play in defying and rewriting global norms, panellists added, is the Chinese Communist Party’s way of safeguarding…