Piracy justifies Myanmar oil terminal
Regional security concerns highlight Chinese investment.
Piracy surge justifies China’s investment in Myanmar oil terminal
Written by Gordon Brown
China’s strategic investment in an oil transhipment terminal on the Myanmar coast at Kyaukphyu and a 900-kilometre pipeline to Yunnan could soon be justified by a surge in piracy in the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Attacks around the knot of islands and jungle coastline where Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore meet rose nearly 25 percent last year over 2012, to 128, and are growing at a similar pace this year. There have been 11 attacks since April, show figures from the International Maritime Bureau.
Threats to shipping in the bottleneck through which more than 70 percent of China’s imported crude oil passes is a recurring nightmare in Beijing and was dubbed by former President Hu Jintao as “the Malacca dilemma”.
The potential threat to Chinese shipping, especially crude oil supertankers, passing through the Malacca Strait is the main reason why China invested more than US$1.5 billion in the Kyaukphyu terminal and oil pipeline.
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