Trial convoys pass new Suez canal

Convoys of ships in both directions have passed through the expanded Suez Canal for the first time on Saturday 25 July. The canal has been widened and deepened, adding bypasses on its western side to enable the canal to double its daily capacity from 49 to an estimated 97 ships.
The website of the
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Cargo carrier sinks in Yangtze River

A China-flagged cargo carrier sank in the Yangtze River after colliding with a product tanker on 23 July.
Huayun Shipping-owned 4,615 gt Jiang Xia Xiang was ferrying 7,498 tonnes of stone from An Qing to Ningbo when it collided with China Shipping Tanker Company’s 42,000 dwt Bai Chi in the
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Disputed Islands to Get Another Cruise Ship

By Reuters 2015-07-27 01:54:50

Chinese authorities plan to start a second cruise ship link to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, state media reported on Monday, in a move that may irk Vietnam, which also claims the islets.

China began cruises on the Coconut Princess on a trial basis from the southern island province of Hainan in 2013. More than 10,000 tourists have taken the trip so far, the official China Daily reported.

Officials hope a second ship will be in operation before the end of the year, and that more islands can be opened up for visits, the report said.

Those include Woody Island, where the Chinese government seat for administering the Paracels is located.

However, weather and poor facilities could hamper tourism efforts. The Paracels are often hit by typhoons and strong winds, the paper said.

“We need to take into account the capacity of the islets to handle tourists. Cruise ships cannot dock on some of them and the tourists have to be bought ashore by smaller ships,” Xie Zanliang, head of a government tourism company promoting trips to the Paracels, told the newspaper.

The deployment of a Chinese oil rig near the Paracels last year sparked a standoff with Vietnam and anti-Chinese riots.

Taiwan also claims the Paracels.

China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan lay claim to parts of the sea, through which passes about $5 trillion of trade a year.

Vietnam said last month it would offer its own cruises to the disputed Spratly archipelago, which lies south of the Paracels, a move that sparked anger from China.

Countries competing to cement their rival claims have encouraged a growing civilian presence on disputed islands.

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Mokpo to build steel-handling pier

The South Korean port of Mokpo has begun building a steel-handling pier to cater to growing steel cargoes.
Construction has begun on a pier that could handle an additional 1 million tonnes of steel a year.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that in the last three years, steel cargo volumes
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