Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SUPERPOWERS
Chinese ships enter Philippine waters; Sri Lanka scales back China port
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) March 9, 2017


Sri Lanka to scale back port deal with China
Colombo (AFP) March 9, 2017 - Cash-strapped Sri Lanka is to scale back a profitable but controversial deal to sell a deep-sea port to a Chinese company after widespread protests, the ports minister said Thursday.

Arjuna Ranatunga said the government was renegotiating the sale of the debt-laden but strategically-located Hambantota port.

It had hoped to transfer an 80 percent stake to the China Merchants Port Holdings on a long lease, but the proposed deal met with opposition from residents in the southern town of Hambantota and some members of the ruling coalition.

"We have proposed several changes (to the original draft agreement) and we will end up with a situation which is far more favourable to the institution," Ranatunga told reporters in Colombo, referring to the state Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

The minister did not give details, but official sources said the SLPA wanted to reduce the Chinese company's equity holding and the lease period, and ensure overall security of the port remained in its control.

Colombo had hoped to raise about a billion dollars from the deal to repay the money China lent it to build the $1.4-billion harbour.

The port, built during the former president Mahinda Rajapakse, has become a white elephant with revenues insufficient even to pay salaries of staff.

The new government, which came to power in January 2015, has been trying to renegotiate terms of its $8-billion Chinese debt, which includes the construction costs of the Hambantota port.

"I hope we will be able to finalise an agreement within a week to 10 days," Ranatunga said.

There was no immediate comment from the state-run Chinese firm.

Chinese survey ships have been entering waters recognised by the United Nations as Philippine territory, Manila's defence secretary said Thursday, in a move he described as "very concerning".

Delfin Lorenzana said the ships were seen last year near Benham Rise -- a Philippine territory 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon -- as well as Reed Bank in the South China Sea, which is claimed by both Manila and Beijing.

"I have ordered the navy that if they see this service ship this year, to start to accost them and drive them away" from Benham Rise, Lorenzana said.

"The very concerning thing is they have several service ships plying this area, staying in one area sometimes for a month as if doing nothing. But we believe they are actually surveying the seabed," he told journalists.

Lorenzana's statement comes as President Rodrigo Duterte seeks warmer relations with Beijing, after ties soured under the previous administration because of conflicting claims in the South China Sea.

Asked why the ships might be surveying in Benham Rise, Lorenzana said he received information the vessels were "looking for a place to put submarines".

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass believed to be potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits.

In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.

The Philippines and China, along with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, have conflicting claims to the South China Sea.

China claims almost all of the vital sealane, including the Reed Bank, which is about 148 kilometres (92 miles) off the Philippine island of Palawan and which Manila considers as its territory.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino, had pressed the Philippines' claims leading to tensions with China.

But Duterte, who took office last year, has focused on boosting relations with Beijing, downplaying the territorial conflict while seeking financial and military aid.

SUPERPOWERS
EU approves new military HQ
Brussels (AFP) March 6, 2017
The European Union on Monday approved plans for a military headquarters to coordinate overseas security operations, foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said. Mogherini, who has pushed hard for the EU to take on an increased military role, said foreign and defence ministers of the 28 member states "unanimously" backed the project. "Today we decided to establish a MPCC (Military Planni ... read more

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SUPERPOWERS
NASA Releases Free Software Catalog

Orion spacecraft achieves key safety milestone

The NASA Imager Dentists Use Daily

Marshall shakes, packs, ships and tracks NASA payloads

SUPERPOWERS
Space squadron supports record-breaking satellites launch

ULA launches NROL-79 payload for NRO

SpaceX says it will fly civilians to the moon next year

Moon tourists risk rough ride, experts say

SUPERPOWERS
Humans May Quickly Evolve on Mars, Biologist Claims

NASA Orbiter Steers Clear of Mars Moon Phobos

Remnants of a mega-flood on Mars

Science checkout continues for ExoMars orbiter

SUPERPOWERS
China launches experiment satellite "TK-1"

China to launch space station core module in 2018

Thinking Big: China Hopes to Conduct 2nd Mission to Mars by 2030

China to Conduct Test Flight of CZ-8 Carrier Rocket by 2018

SUPERPOWERS
How low can you go? New project to bring satellites nearer to Earth

Teal Group Pegs Value of Space Payloads Through 2036 at Over $250 Billion

OneWeb, Intelsat merge to advance satellite internet

GomSpace to supply satellites for Sky and Space Global constellation

SUPERPOWERS
Bubble-recoil could be used to cool microchips, even in space

Coffee-ring effect leads to crystallization control

3-D printing with plants

Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3-D structures

SUPERPOWERS
Faraway Planet Systems Are Shaped Like the Solar System

Biochemical 'fossil' shows how life may have emerged without phosphate

The missing link in how planets form

Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life

SUPERPOWERS
Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter

Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase

NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept

New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement