Hong Kong's maritime management all at sea

Francis Liu Hon-por, director of the Marine Department, apologised over the Lamma IV tragedy. Photo: Edward Wong

In spite of the importance for Hong Kong of its port and shipping centre roles, all is not well in the jurisdiction of maritime affairs. The attitude of the Marine Department to the Lamma IV disaster is extremely disturbing and cries out for independent investigation, not the light touch expected from fellow bureaucrats of the Transport and Housing Bureau.

Sunday, 2 June, 2013, 3:59am 4 comments

Philippine envoys face sack over 'rogue' offer to Taipei

Antonio Basilio is said to have exceeded his brief. Photo: Reuters

The pair tried to negotiate a deal with their Taiwanese counterparts in which the Philippine government would apologise for the May 9 incident in which one fisherman died. But the offer backfired and spiralled into a major diplomatic incident when Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou rejected it and imposed economic penalties.

22 May 2013 - 1:07pm 12 comments

Taipei releases satellite record of fishing boat route, refuting Manila’s claim

Chen Ming-tang, deputy minister of Taiwan's Justice Ministry, holds a picture showing a bullet found in the fishing vessel after it was attacked by Philippine coastguards during a press conference in Taipei on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Taiwan on Tuesday released a satellite record of the route of a fishing boat fired on by Philippine coastguards, flatly rejecting Manila’s allegations that the boat intruded into Philippine waters.

The killing of crew member Hung Shih-cheng, 65, sparked outrage in Taiwan, which has announced a series of economic sanctions against the Philippines.

21 May 2013 - 6:08pm 6 comments

Taiwanese investigators quit shooting probe, calling Philippine officials 'dishonest'

Chen Wen-chi, a senior justice ministry official, shows a letter from a Philippine official welcoming Taiwan to join investigation. Photo: AFP

The 17 Taiwan investigators, led by Chen Wen-chi, a senior justice ministry official, returned to Taipei yesterday empty-handed a day after arriving in Manila for what was originally meant to be a joint investigation over whether the coastguard intentionally killed the fisherman aboard an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat.

19 May 2013 - 6:12am 2 comments

How they see it

Fishing vessel 'Guang Ta Hsin 28', which was fired upon by Philippine coast guard. Photo: Xinhua

It is most unfortunate that the government of Taiwan has suspended the issuance of visas to Filipinos. The suspension was in reaction to the unfortunate killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in contested waters a few days ago.

19 May 2013 - 3:55am

Taiwan's reaction to killing of fisherman is out of proportion

Taiwan's investigation team reports on the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard. Photo: AP

Now it's Taiwan's turn to show some nationalist anger, and its target is the Philippines. Behind the outrage over the death of a fisherman lies suspicion of a Han chauvinism that can only exacerbate the tensions between China and its southern, non-Chinese neighbours.

19 May 2013 - 3:55am 36 comments

Taiwanese fishermen burn Filipino flags in protest over shooting

Angry Taiwanese fishermen set fire to Filipino flags during a protest in Taipei on Monday against the shooting to death of a local fisherman by Philippine coastguards. Photo: AFP

Angry Taiwanese fishermen burned Filipino flags in protest on Monday after the Philippine coastguard fired on a Taiwan fishing boat killing a crew member.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino called for calm as tensions escalated between the two countries over last week’s incident in which the 65-year-old fisherman was shot dead.

13 May 2013 - 7:13pm 4 comments

Finance chief at OOIL jumps ship

Ken Cambie

Hong Kong's maritime sector is seeing one of its periodic people reshuffles with the move of two industry ship finance veterans to Singapore and three leading shipping lawyers to new firms.

The most high-profile departure is Ken Cambie, who is joining Quantum Pacific Shipping Services, a maritime venture in Singapore planned by Israel's richest man, Idan Ofer.

13 May 2013 - 5:51am

Taiwan steps up naval patrols after Philippines fires on fishing vessel

A Taiwanese coastguard official waves his cap as a fleet of naval and coast guard frigates sets sail from Kaohsiung. Photo: AFP

Taiwan sent four coastguard and naval vessels to strengthen patrols in waters near the Philippines yesterday following public outrage over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coastguards.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Philippines refuses to apologise as fisherman's body returns to Taiwan

Relatives of Hung Shih-cheng, a crew member on Taiwanese fishing boat Guang Ta Hsin 28, grieve over his body at Liuqiu harbour in Taiwan's southern Pingtung county yesterday. He was shot dead by the Philippine coastguard on Thursday. Photo: AFP

A fishing trawler that was fired on by the Philippines' coastguard limped back to Taiwan yesterday, riddled with more than 50 bullet holes and carrying the body of a 65-year-old crew member.

12 May 2013 - 6:13am 50 comments

Invention prevents ships from colliding with nearby bridges

Polytechnic University Professor Ni Yiqing shows off his intelligent surveillance system, which won top prize in Geneva. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Surveillance equipment to actively monitor ships and warn them of hazards could soon be fitted to bridges as part of a system developed by a local researcher to prevent vessels from colliding with the structures.

9 May 2013 - 5:45am

8,000 vessels won't have shelter during typhoons, study finds

Shum Wan Typhoon Shelter. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The full extent of the crisis caused by a lack of boat moorings has been revealed, with new government figures showing nearly 8,000 vessels will be without safe haven as the typhoon season approaches.

5 May 2013 - 5:03am 3 comments

Sea training institute 'has few qualified teachers and offers too few courses'

Report into the Lamma ferry collision. Photo: Dickson Lee

Chow Wan-hoi, an instructor at the Maritime Services Training Institute for 11 years until his retirement in July, said at least six teachers did not hold the relevant licences when he worked there.

1 May 2013 - 5:47am

Southeast Asian leaders to talk China, trade

Brunei police and plain clothes security wait at Brunei International Airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, ahead of the Asean summit, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA

Southeast Asian leaders will meet in Brunei on Wednesday hoping to heal wounds from infighting over relations with China while building momentum towards groundbreaking economic partnerships.

24 Apr 2013 - 2:42pm

Asean to press China for talks on new maritime code of conduct

Brunei's new Prime Minister's Office, the venue for the upcoming Asean Summit. Photo: Reuters

Worried that long-seething rifts could escalate over the South China Sea, Southeast Asian leaders are expected this week to press China to agree to start negotiations on a new pact aimed at thwarting a major clash in one of the busiest maritime regions.

23 Apr 2013 - 2:40am