Kemplon Engineering looks back at the whirlwind year that was 2016 – which was, for all its strokes of bad luck and bold brilliance, certainly a year for the history books. Here are a few of the news and major issues that grabbed maritime industry headlines over the last twelve months:
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.2016 had started off with a proverbial bang, with January seeing the apprehension of American sailors who had inadvertently strayed into Iranian territorial waters. The situation was rapidly diffused amid improvements in U.S. – Iran relations.
Diplomacy is not faring very well on the other side of the world too, with China’s Territorial Ambitions running afoul of its neighbors’ economic and sovereign interests. Just like the previous years (territorial disputes in Asia is no stranger to our Year in Review lists), rightful ownership of small islands is contested by various country claimants, with incredible stakes – national pride, for one, but also exclusive economic zones for fishing, control over crucial shipping routes, strategic military outposts, and a potential wealth in untapped natural resource deposits.Far less rosy is the picture of United States – Russia relations. The tumultuous year saw a number of tense, Cold War era-type interactions between the two superpowers, among them a June encounter between Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry and the United States’ USS Gravely and USS Harry S. Truman, on top of failed efforts to cooperate and help end the civil war in Syria. 2016 ends with sanctions and the expulsion of Russian diplomats, amid allegations of interference in the United States’ November elections. This situation is still developing.