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China calls for an impartial investigation into damage to the Baltic pipeline – Radio Free Asia

China has stated that it is prepared to provide necessary assistance in the investigation regarding Finland’s claim that a Hong Kong vessel may have damaged a natural gas pipeline. According to Finnish police, the Balticconnector pipeline between Finland and Estonia appears to have been damaged by an anchor. The police discovered the anchor near the point of damage and suspect that it belongs to the Chinese container vessel Newnew Polar Bear. The authorities have reached out to the Chinese vessel for cooperation but have not received a response. China has stated that it maintains communication with Finland and is willing to assist in accordance with international law. The investigation will determine whether the damage was accidental or intentional. The Estonian government is also investigating two incidents that may be linked to the Chinese vessel, involving damaged telecoms cables. Chinese ships have previously been accused of damaging communications cables, such as in Taiwan. The Newnew Polar Bear was near the Balticconnector pipeline around the time of the incident, along with a Russian vessel. Experts believe that the cooperation between China and Russia in transporting cargo using the Northern Sea Route is significant. However, reports of the Chinese vessel flying the Russian flag have raised questions about its registration. So far, Russian officials have not commented on the case. There have been speculations that the West may attempt to block traffic from China to Russia and Europe due to the potential increase in traffic along the Northern Sea Route. Chinese plans for Taiwan and the situation in the Middle East may be factors in China’s decision to redirect traffic.

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