June 19, 2020
Dateline 2020-05-30, Eurasia Review:
When a Chinese survey ship deployed close to a Malaysian-contracted oil exploration vessel in Malaysian waters in mid-April, tensions in the South China Sea went up a notch. United States and Australia sent warships to the area to send a message to China – that Southeast Asian nations should be free to exploit resources off their own coasts.
Yet Malaysia itself kept its counsel. The government scarcely issued a word of protest over China’s actions. And then, a month after the Chinese ship had arrived, the Malaysian-contracted drillship West Capella returned to port, and China’s Hai Yang Di Zhi 8 went on its way.
May 18, 2020
Dateline 2020-04-17, Oil Price:
Tensions are rising in the disputed South China Sea, where a Chinese survey vessel has been tagging an exploration ship which Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas is operating in the area, security sources in the region told Reuters on Friday.
The long-running dispute in the South China Sea involves territorial claims by China as well as Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia. China has territorial claims to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, which has put it at odds with its neighbors.
The Chinese research and survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 was close to Malaysian waters, and at one point on Friday, the Chinese ship was flanked by Chinese ships of the coast guard and maritime militia, according to Reuters’ sources. The Haiyang Dizhi 8 ship was close to the West Capella exploration vessel operated by Petronas.