Posted on July 04, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
According to a notice posted on a ministry website on June the 2nd, Beijing has asked Chinese shipping companies to raise the security level on ships transiting through the Strait of Malacca.
The strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water between Malaysia and Indonesia, and acts as the main shipping line between the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Shipping companies have been told to implement Security level 3 (Marsec Level 3); the highest form of alert under the International Ship and Port Facility Security code.
For reference, authorities increased the Security Level to two after the recent tanker attacks on the Strait of Hormuz. Security Level three, is only used when an incident is highly likely, or even imminent.
Allegedly, according to an internal email circulating through the Cosco Shipping Group, Chinese companies will be targeted by an “Indonesian Organization” while transiting through the strait of Malacca.
This is highly unusual for the area, which has experienced rather low levels of piracy in the past, mostly involving robberies and boarding of smaller vessels. A threat escalation of such a level would be highly unlikely, but not unheard of.
Of note, is the fact that China is bound by international responsibility amongst its partner nations to spread any information it might hold in regards to a specific maritime threat; something which has not been the case in this instance.