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China decides to send navy vessels to fight pirates off Somali coast

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- China has announced that its naval deployment to the seas off Somalia to fight pirates will be of three vessels.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao confirmed on Saturday evening that the taskforce would consist of three vessels, and would patrol the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.

The Ministry of Defence said the taskforce would consist of two destroyers and a supply ship, and will leave Sanya of southern Hainan Province on Dec. 26.

Their major task is to protect the safety of Chinese ships and crew on board as well as ships carrying humanitarian relief material for the international organizations such as the United Nations World Food Programme, Liu said.

Ships registered in China or owned by Chinese companies had been attacked by pirates off the Somali coast this year, he said.

China was acting in accord with United Nations resolutions, he said.

So far the United States, NATO and other countries have already sent naval forces to ply this area.

"Chinese naval vessels will strictly follow U.N. Security Council resolutions and international laws. They are willing to work with other countries and to take part in humanitarian relief tasks," Liu said.

At a press conference Thursday, Liu said 20 percent of Chinese ships passing through the waters off the Somali coast have been attacked by pirates from January to November this year.

He told the press that seven ships, either owned by China or carrying Chinese cargo and crew, had been hijacked and one fishing boat, with a crew of 18, was still held by pirates.

"We will continue working with armed forces of other countries to improve cooperation in various fields including safeguarding the international maritime sea lanes and enhance joint actions against new challenges and threats," said the defense ministry.

China to send Navy to fight Somali pirates

BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is making preparations to deploy warships in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast to fight rampant pirates, after a Chinese ship escaped pirate hijack in the region.

"We are making preparations and arrangements to deploy naval ships to the Gulf of Aden for escorting operations," the foreign ministry said on its website Thursday. Full story

Chinese ship rescued from attack by pirates in Gulf of Aden

A sailor is ready to defend from pirates' attacks on the deck of the Chinese ship "Zhenhua 4" in the Gulf of Aden, on Dec. 17, 2008. The Chinese ship escaped pirate hijack in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, after the crew fought for four hours with the help of a multi-coalition force. No injuries or deaths were reported. Nine pirates armed with rocket launchers and heavy machine guns boarded the ship. The 30 crew members locked themselves in their accommodation area, using fire hydrants and firebombs to prevent the attackers from entering, said an official with China Maritime Search and Rescue Center (CMSRC). (Xinhua Photo)

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NAIROBI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A regional maritime official confirmed on Wednesday that an international naval force rescued a Chinese ship from nine Somali pirates in the latest surge in piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

Andrew Mwangura, East Africa's Coordinator of Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) said the crew on the Chinese MV Zhen Hua-4 had locked themselves in their cabins and radioed for help. Full story

Chinese ship escapes pirate hijack in Gulf of Aden

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese ship escaped pirate hijack in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, after the crew fought for four hours with the help of a multi-coalition force. No injuries or deaths were reported.

The ship "Zhenhua 4" is owned by China Communications Construction Co. and is registered in Saint Vincent. The company lost contact with the sailors after the ship was attacked by pirates at 12:43 p.m. (Beijing time). Full story

China ship rescued after pirates' forced retreat in Gulf of Aden

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese ship was rescued after multi-national soldiers forced retreat of pirates in the Gulf of Aden at 16:45 (Beijing time) on Wednesday.

The multi-national forces used helicopters for the rescue operation. Full story

China ship attacked by pirates in Gulf of Aden, 30 sailors unconnected

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A ship owned by China Communications Construction Co. was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden at 12:43 p.m. (Beijing time) on Wednesday.

Thirty Chinese sailors were aboard the ship, "Zhenhua 4", that was registered in Saint Vincent. The company has lost contacts with the sailors and their conditions were unknown. Full story

Somalia welcomes Chinese naval deployment off its coast

MOGADISHU, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Somalia on Wednesday welcomed China's announcement that it was seriously considering sending naval ships to Somali waters to fight rampant piracy.

"As a friend of the Somali people and victim of the piracy menace," China can play a vital role in combating the scourge off Somali waters, said Somalia's Parliament Speaker Sheik Aden Madoobe. Full story

Vice FM: China "seriously considering" naval escorting operations in Somali waters

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said here on Tuesday that China is "seriously considering sending naval ships" to the waters off the Somali coast for escorting operations in the near future to fight against rampant piracy there.

Speaking at a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council on Somali piracy, He said that China welcomes international cooperation in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia and supports the efforts of relevant countries to send warships to the region to crack down on pirates in pursuant to international law and Security Council resolutions. Full story

Source: Xinhua


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