fredag 9. juli 2021

US Think-Tank: China Coast Guard Harasses Malaysian Oil, Gas Operation Off Sarawak

Chinese coast guard ships since early June have been putting pressure on and harassing new Malaysian oil and gas projects in the South China Sea off Sarawak state on Borneo Island, a U.S.-based think-tank said in a report released this week. Malaysian state-run oil company Petronas, which runs such off-shore operations, meanwhile announced on Wednesday that it signed a 10-year, U.S. $7 billion deal to provide liquid natural gas to a subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corp.

That same day, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative issued a report alleging that ships from the China Coast Guard (CCG) have been “contesting” new Malaysian oil and gas development in waters off the coast of Sarawak. “This is at least the third time since last spring that the CCG has harassed Malaysian energy exploration,” AMTI, a subsidiary of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said in the report titled “Contest at Kasawari: Another Malaysian Gas Project Faces Pressure.” “It demonstrates again Beijing’s persistence in challenging its neighbors’ oil and gas activities within their own exclusive economic zones. And the air patrol, which was likely not a coincidence, suggests Beijing’s willingness to engage in parallel escalation to pressure other claimants to back down,” the report said.