The Chinese government has raised the security level of its ships passing through the Strait of Malacca to the highest level, Level 3, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) told the Global Times, as tensions in the Middle East cast dark clouds over global strategic shipping lines.
The ministry advised that Chinese vessels heading toward the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest trade waterways, should take precautionary security measures to ensure their navigational safety.
Lin Boqiang, Dean of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, said that some 80% of Chinese crude imports and some liquefied natural gas imports go through the strait, making it a geographic choke point for the Chinese economy.
Security of the strait, a prime waterway for trade linking Asia with the Middle East, Europe and Africa, is frequently debated among Asian leaders. Chinese maritime strategists often call this issue the “Malacca Dilemma.”