'Just a collision': Duterte downplays sinking

The sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel in the disputed South China Sea was "just a collision", the Philippine's President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday as he moved to soothe anger over the crash.The typically brash Duterte urged calm in his first public comments about the June 9 incident, which has fed into outrage over China's expansive claims to the resource-rich waterway.Critics have voiced anger over the Chinese trawler's failure to rescue the 22

18 June 2019

Ferry accidents: Not so gently down the stream

It was a fun outing at sea for everyone and nothing seemed amiss. At around 4pm, the Phoenix departed for Phuket island with its 105 passengers. 10 minutes into the journey, the sky turned dark. Half an hour later, the boat started shaking violently as a monsoon storm – said to be the biggest storm in five years – hit the boat some seven kilometres from shore. The ferry started rocking violently as giant waves buffeted it. Then it started listing, tossing its passengers to the deck.

20 July 2018

Timor Leste and Australia sign historic maritime border treaty

Timor-Leste and Australia have finally reached an agreement over the maritime border between the two countries. The two countries signed a historic treaty on a permanent border in the Timor Sea at the UN headquarters on Wednesday. The agreement comes after a 15-year dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia.

7 March 2018

Will the Kra Canal ever be?

The Kra Canal – also known historically as the Isthmus of Kra – is a proposed canal spanning 102 kilometres which would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea. The construction of the canal would serve as an alternative to the current maritime trade route that passes through Singapore and the Straits of Malacca.The proposed construction of the Kra Canal that would save approximately 12,000 kilometres, or two to three days of sailing time for traders has recurred in recent times.

10 November 2017

Maritime dispute to take centre stage during ASEAN Summit

World leaders would be meeting in the Philippines from the 10th to the 14th of November for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings. One issue will definitely be on the agenda – the South China Sea dispute.ASEAN Summits have a dry, overused script when it comes to this maritime dispute.

9 November 2017

ASEAN's tactful approach on maritime dispute

During a recent high-level regional security dialogue in Manila, defence ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) released a joint declaration calling for a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute.The dispute has been plaguing the region for long and has largely shaped the geopolitical landscape of Southeast Asia. Five trillion dollars’ worth of trade passes through its shipping lanes.

26 October 2017

Global port ban for ships violating N. Korea sanctions

The UN has slapped a global port ban on four vessels found violating sanctions against North Korea, the head of an expert panel said Monday in what he described as an unprecedented move.The United States led a drive at the Security Council to impose two recent sets of sanctions to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile tests."There are four vessels that have been designated by the committee. The designation doesn't mean an assets freeze or travel ban.

10 October 2017

Two Vietnamese fishermen dead in Philippine navy chase

Two Vietnamese fishermen were found dead and five others arrested after a sea chase ended in a collision in Philippine waters at the weekend, authorities said Monday.A Philippine patrol ship pursued six Vietnamese fishing boats 30 nautical miles off the northern coastal town of Bolinao, a regional military spokesman told AFP.Officials are investigating the cause of the pair's death, but their bodies were found after a Vietnamese boat slammed into the Philippine vessel, said Lieutenant Jo

25 September 2017

Indonesia: Asia's maritime gateway to the west

Much like how the ancient trade functioned when the Western civilisation of the Roman Empire began to trade with the Chinese Empire in the first century for wool, silver and gold, the maritime silk road in the 21st century is named OBOR (or One Belt, One Road) as it is poised to become a passage way that would contribute to the widespread of trade across the world, while a coherent blueprint is set to interconnect international infrastructures in order to maintain the national interest of the

22 September 2017