Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

Beijing to send warships to combat pirates

Latest update : 2008-12-18

The Chinese government says it has plans to send warships to fight pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden. The announcement comes one day after the crew of a commercial Chinese vessel fought off an attack in the waters off the Somali coast.

AFP - China is preparing to send warships to fight rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia, the government said Thursday, a day after one of its commercial vessels foiled an attack near the African state.
   
"We are preparing and making arrangements to send naval ships to the Gulf of Aden to protect the sea lanes there," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told journalists.
   
"We will make a formal announcement when the time comes."
   
Liu's comments come after the state-run Global Times newspaper, citing maritime officials, said China would send two destroyers and a supply ship to the Gulf of Aden to help the international crackdown on piracy there.
   
The fleet will depart from China's south sea naval base on Hainan island after December 25 for a three-month tour of the Somali coast, the paper said.
   
The developments come after the crew of a Chinese cargo ship fought off pirates in the Gulf of Aden Wednesday with the help of a coalition of forces organised by the International Maritime Bureau.
   
Liu said that seven ships either owned by Chinese shipping companies, carrying Chinese crews or carrying cargo from China had been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden during the first 11 months of the year.
   
China's participation will be the first time in modern history that the nation's navy has carried out a mission outside Chinese waters, according to Shen Shishun, an expert with the Chinese Institute of International Studies, a government think tank.
   
China's participation comes after the UN Security Council, in a unanimous vote Tuesday, gave nations battling armed and increasingly audacious pirates in the Gulf of Aden a one-year mandate to act inside the lawless country.
   
"China welcomes the international cooperation on cracking down on Somalia pirates," Liu said
   
Pirates have carried out more than 100 attacks in the key shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden, located between the south of Yemen and the north of Somalia, and the Indian Ocean east of Somalia since the start of this year.
   
Last month, they captured the world's attention when they hijacked the Saudi-owned super-tanker Sirius Star, carrying two million barrels of crude oil, and demanded a 25-million-dollar ransom for the ship and its crew.
   
It is one of about 17 ships, including a Chinese vessel, that have fallen into pirate hands.
   
The United States, Belgium, France, Greece, Liberia and South Korea have all indicated a willingness to send or have already sent warships to the region.
   
Such a mission from China's navy would come nearly 600 years after the "Treasure Ships" of Admiral Zheng He visited Africa during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when the Chinese navy ruled the known seas of the world, state press said.
 

Date created : 2008-12-18

COMMENT(S)