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Home Weekly Bulletin Weekly Bulletin 28/8 - 3/9

Weekly Bulletin 28/8 - 3/9

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Vietnam protests over Chinese military drill in South China Sea; PLA Navy commissions new supply ship; U.S. to Challenge China With More Patrols in Disputed Waters…

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Activities of the Related Parties

China

PLA Navy commissions new supply ship

An advanced supply vessel joined the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on September 1 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. Hulun Nur 965 is the first of a new type of comprehensive supply vessel independently developed by China using globally advanced technologies, according to military sources. It is capable replenishing an aircraft carrier group or other navy fleet on the high sea, the source said said.

CNPC, Guangdong sign strategic deal on South China Sea methane hydrate

China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, state energy giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) [CNPET.UL] and Guangdong province have agreed to build a pilot methane hydrate project in the South China Sea, CNPC said its website on August 29. The trial prospecting of the deep-sea gas resource, also known as “flammable ice”, will be in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea, after initial tests run in May, CNPC said. The report did not give further details on the timeline or financial investment on developing this pilot project.

Vietnam

Vietnam protests over Chinese military drill in South China Sea

In response to questions from the media regarding the Chinese announcement of an upcoming military exercise in the waters off the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam's Foreign Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang on August 31 said: "Viet Nam is deeply concerned about the announcement by China that it will conduct a military exercise in the waters off the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin. Our position is that all activities by other countries in the waters within the sovereign right and jurisdiction of Viet Nam should comply with Viet Nam law and international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Viet Nam requests China to stop and taking no further action that could complicate the situation in the East Sea (South China Sea)."

Malaysia

Vietnamese trawlers intercepted, 21 people held

Two Vietnamese fishing boats were intercepted in waters off here for encroaching into Malaysian waters on August 23. Caught by patrolling teams from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, 21 people were held along with the seizure of 11,000 litres of diesel, three tonnes of fish and fishing equipment from the two trawlers. The seized items were valued at RM2.4 million.

The U.S.

U.S. to Challenge China With More Patrols in Disputed Waters

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the Pentagon has set a schedule for freedom of navigation operations to challenge Chinese maritime claims in the sea. PACOM is planning to conduct two or three patrols over the next few months, according to the Journal. In the past, such operations, referred to as "fonops" in the military, have been conducted more sporadically, and have faced accusations by China of being provocations by the U.S. By establishing a more regular regime of patrols in the sea, U.S. officials are hoping to dull China's claims that operations are destabilizing, according to the Journal.

China's Actions in Asia Risk Undermining Trust, U.S. Navy Says

Speaking at a briefing in Singapore on September 28, U.S. Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson While trust among Southeast Asian nations is improving, especially to counter threats from piracy and terrorism, China is acting to protect its own interests at the cost of others. Gabrielson, commander of the Logistics Group Western Pacific, said nations should not seek to undermine the “existing system” through unilateral actions, without naming a particular country. “It’s important for everyone who has an interest in the region to do their part to understand that if the world does not come together to protect its own interests then China will do everything it can to protect what it sees as its interests at the cost of anyone else,” he said.

Regional Snapshots

Daewoo Shipbuilding wins sub maintenance deal from Indonesia

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., a major shipyard in South Korea, said on August 31 that it has clinched a 30 billion-won (US$26.7 million) deal from Indonesia's Navy to provide maintenance and upgrade services for one of its submarines. Under the deal, Daewoo Shipbuilding will work with Indonesia's largest shipyard, PT. PAL, on the maintenance of a submarine operated by the Indonesia's Navy by 2020. Early this month, Daewoo Shipbuilding handed over a 1,400-ton diesel-electric submarine to the Indonesian Navy, becoming the first South Korean company to export a submarine. The boat is the first of three submarines commissioned by the Southeast Asian country under a 2011 deal worth $1.1 billion.


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