It has been reported that Hong Kong-flagged tanker ‘SC Taipei’ came under attack and was seized by Iranian forces in the Gulf of Oman today.

The vessel is now reportedly off the Iranian coast, it had earlier been heading for Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

Further, according to Dryad Global here:

“Dryad Global has since identified that the Hong Kong flagged, SC TAIPEI IMO 9175535, is highly likely to be the vessel of concern. The vessel is understood to have a crew of 22 personnel. All are believed to be Chinese nationals. The vessel was understood to be at anchor in an in-ballast condition and awaiting orders to approach al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia. At 12:48UTC the vessel was shown to be underway towards the Iranian coastline. At 14:28UTC the vessel was shown to be stationary at a position 4nm off Mogh-e Qanbareh-ye Kuh Mobarak.

Details regarding this event remain fluid and it is currently unclear whether the vessel is in distress or is being assisted by Iran in some way. Dryad Global assesses that her current location does not correspond with any known commercial activity in the region.

The key unknown variable in this potential incident is that the SC TAIPEI  is a Hong Kong-flagged vessel. While Beijing is not responsible for Hong Kong vessels, there is a realistic possibility that China would view the detention of a Hong Kong vessel as a proxy assault on its own sovereignty.”

This article will be updated as more information emerges,

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Sami timms

Here we go again

Meirion X

Will now China stop sticking up for Iran all the time?


Considering China is one of the few Countries that will buy Iranian Oil or sell weapons to Iran no questions asked expect this ship to be released very quickly along with a groveling apology.


probably Iran trying to blackmail China into either giving supplies of equipment to fight off covid 19 to Iran,or to stop supplying the west with equipment to fight of covid 19,but who knows what goes on in there minds..


No sympathy for China here. They caused this crisis the world is in now. Hopefully the Chinese people will rise up and overthrow their communists overlords. Not holding my breath though.


Dear heavens…. world politics according to Viz!


How did they cause it?


How did China cause this catastrophe? Firstly, their lying, incompetent and corrupt initial handling of the situation. China’s first case was on 4 Nov 2019, yet the first the outside world heard was on 9 Jan 2020; that came from the Thai government who informed the WHO about Chinese citizens who were turning up in Thai hospitals and displaying a mystery pneumonia-like disease. On 14 Jan, WHO released guidance based on China’s ‘experience’, with that guidance saying that there was no human-to-human transmission, that flights from China were fine, and that the stigma of the disease was worse than its… Read more »


China were the first to get this. They were not initially aware that it was capable of jumping from Human to Human. They could certainly have been quicker but then others were also not particularly quick off the mark either. I mean look at Trump. He spent many weeks claiming that this was not a problem and ignoring scientists. In fact he still contradicts all his scientific experts on a daily basis. Is that not even worse than China? Given that the world definitely knew many of the facts at that point? Even our own government was slow to react… Read more »


Lee 1, I believe you asked about evidence of China’s role. It is interestingly and very telling that you are keen to do is divert attention from China’s failings with the later failings of others.
If for one moment you believe that even these later amended figures of China are near to the truth I have a handful of magic beans to sell you.


I am not deflecting anything. It is important to see the whole picture and not just a snapshot that suits a particular narrative. China is untrustworthy, that is for certain. However that does not mean other countries have been much better and given that this is a world problem it is important not to single out China as the only issue here as otherwise we let everyone else off. Chinas cases have been revised and are 50% higher than they first thought. This could indeed be a sign that they are not telling the whole truth. However it could also… Read more »


“China were the first to get this. They were not initially aware that it was capable of jumping from Human to Human.” Where is your reference for this statement? British Intelligence reports are quite clear that China knew of human to human contact long before they acknowledged it. There is also strong evidence (published) that this was an incident from the wuhan lab. “They could certainly have been quicker but then others were also not particularly quick off the mark either.” Given the fact that China covered up the evidence and were supported by the WHO who praised them it… Read more »


I am amazed that the China apologists still have the nerve to show themselves.
Simply keeping up on current affairs will show that China had done many, many things that should bring about change in the way the world deals with them. From ‘dissapearing’ doctors, dissenters and journalists, to employing poor judgement and standards n the research of bat viruses amongst other areas does them no credit.
What’s the betting that China will be the one country to do nicely out of the pandemic and have a vaccine ready first?


They were not aware certain for a few weeks that it could jump human to human. They did then take a few weeks more to tell the WHO which should have been immediate, but to claim they knew straight away is a not true. Unless you care to share the Intelligence reports you have? China were not supported by the WHO to cover up anything. The WHO are not a political organisation and are made up of health professionals and scientists. The WHO shared everything they knew immediately. Their evidence showed that travel restrictions were not necessary at the time… Read more »


Lee, again you have devoted three quarters of your reply to talking about Trump’ failings. I get it, you think is an idiot, so do I, however, that was not what Derek and I were talking about. He is not why I have a problem with China apologists, if anything his initial supportive comments about China and their response, alongside the WHO’s response are a measure of how real world politicking has to be conducted when dealing with the leaders of China, and it could be said, it was objectively more presidential behaviour than could have been expected of such… Read more »


No, I am not a China apologist. Is am simply a rational person. I understand how China is a dictatorship with dubious human rights qualities. However that is not a free ticket to make up stuff. We need to look at the whole thing within the context of this outbreak. My comments on Trump were in response to the outbreak in general. People seem quick to blame China while letting what is possibly even worse behaviour from Trump go. Why is that? Why are we not looking at how our own UK government have perpetuated the spread initially? Why are… Read more »


Lee, I havent seen any journalists, doctors or dissentors being disappeared from America. I believe that the American public will also have the opportunity to remove Trump very shortly, so that’s also a bit different to China too, isn’t it? I have reread the posts you were replying to, and yet can find no lies or making stuff up about China, there are perhaps two pieces of speculation based on available facts. Remember what I said about diversion and deflection? And yes, when you are such a big researcher of viruses, with the track record of originating pandemics, you do… Read more »


Where am I ignoring the faults of China? Also yes there were lies in this thread. One of which is the totally false accusation that they manufactured the virus. This has been categorically refuted by the worlds virus experts for very clear reasons. Also we do not know if they have covered much up at all and if they did whether it had any real affect on the spread of the virus around the world. Again the spread around each country is the domain of those particular countries. China also has many such viruses each year due in part to… Read more »

Ida Know

@LEE1 – enjoy your 50 cents for the post.

Barry Larking

Either this vessel is in need of urgent assistance – were there any calls for assistance received? – or, and this is my own personal favourite, the Revolutionary Guard thinks Hong Kong is still British? Oh, I do hope it is the latter!


“the Revolutionary Guard thinks Hong Kong is still British”

That is one hunch I had, nevertheless expect Iran to back down VERY quickly on this one.


Hi Barry,

If the IRGC think that then they’re blind as well… Any Hong Kong registered merchant vessel flies the Chinese flag above the Hong Kong flag.

So if this is a mistake then Tehran will be doing some serious groveling soon enough as Fedaykin suggests as above.

I must admit this is a surprise to me. I never thought Tehran would do something like this to one of its main supporters…

Cheers CR

Barry Larking

We can but hope.


There should be an exclusion zone all up the coast of Iran where concerned and if they pass it they will get challenged. Cargo Ships ect should travel well inside national waters where possible like say Oman’s waters opposite Iran’s. We should even help fund Offshore patrol vessels for those nations and build them in the UK just like Australia done with dozens of ships for their near neighbours, it would help British ship building and industry and then help protect the gulf region. Iran is a total joke, Global powers have to sort out this clown once and for… Read more »


I think the Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters. The problem was the Omani coastguard and our T23 were too far away to help.


That is the point, they will only do something when there is no help available. And availability will never be 100%


But building a dozen patrol boats from our aid budget like OZ has done could help cover more area.


Yes that’s why we need to build a dozen or two OPVS like the cheap Australian ones they gifted neighbours, it would help with security and British ship building and we could give them to all nations in that region covered by our massive Aid budget obviously. Bad idea?


Plenty of fast patrol craft & OPVs already in the Gulf from every nation with coastline there. So the real question is why aren’t they protecting shipping when that shipping provides them with their massive oil revenues?


Hong Kong’s sadly not British anymore Iran, ?. ??


There are rumours that many senior figures in the Iranian leadership, including the Revolutionary Guard, have been lost to C-19. Could be that the higher up who would have stopped this, isn’t there any more.


According to middle east news agencies its already been released.


Maybe this is staged… so that China have a “valid” excuse to send ships into the strait. I’m not sure why they would want to… but no-one would question them if they suddenly decided to ‘send ships’ there under the pretence of protecting their vessels. All the while, they’re moving their pieces… like a carefully orchestrated game of chess.
Or… it’s just Iran being Iran?
Who knows
Good evening all
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I suspect some RG renegade unit saw an opportunity and jumped in. After all what chance is there they would end up taking a ship of a relative ally, they being so rare a sight.


Some Hong Kong flagged ships are actually British owned, it’s a complex business and money and taxes play a part.

Nick Bowman

That’s very clever. It would be an excellent pretext for an increased Chinese naval presence in the Gulf.


Iran and China have a strategic partnership. It’s vital for both of them.


Perhaps its a way of getting embargoed shipments landed without raising suspicion!


That could indeed be why… ?


Harold, HAROLD, piracy on the high seas, do you want me to crtitise this action on your behalf?



Fen Tiger

If the vessel was in ballast there would be no “shipment ” on board?


As hijacking tankers appears to be a tool of Iranian foreign policy, ie to get attention, I wonder if a HK vessel was hijacked so as to indirectly pressure China – perhaps the mullahs are pointing out shoddy PPE supplies!