Diplomatic buffoonery in the South China Sea

“Diplomacy is thinking twice before saying nothing.” Anonymous.

Nowhere are clear heads needed more right now than in the South China Sea, where a decision by China to build military infrastructure on disputed islands is viewed by neighbours and others beside as a threat to shipping lanes that carry almost all seaborne oil and gas imports not just to China, but to the whole of northeast Asia. So it is a worry that the region’s main multilateral group, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), is making such a mess of things.

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Forties flow – would Brexit scotch it?

In the depths of the worst downturn for a generation or more, the North Sea public relations machine has cranked into action. The region, home to some of the highest costs and most challenging working conditions, is “open for business”, a conference in Aberdeen was told this week.

Trade body Oil & Gas UK said industry has worked constructively with government and regulators to deliver changes – which, when coupled with cost base reductions – “make the North Sea the most fiscally competitive in the world.”

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