Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Somali Pirates' Tough Quiz to China

The whole world is watching the development of Vessel De Xin Hai incident. Chinese navy is facing an unprecedented challenge, because this is the first time its warships sail to the international waters with a battle-ready status, and it is the first time Chinese navy bears a mission to protect China’s interests outside of its traditional waters.

The Somali pirates put a tough quiz in front of the Chinese navy and its government. Will China solve it well?

Now the hijacked cargo ship is sailing towards Somali coast. October 20, 2009, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular press conference that China would make every effort to rescue the crew and the hijacked bulk carrier De Xin Hai.

As a response to the upcoming rescue from China, the ringleader of the pirates threatened that any rescue would cause the killings of these Chinese sailors.

Two Chinese missile frigates are rushing with full speed (27 knots) to the point where the Chinese vessel De Xin Hai was hijacked. Because the hijack happened 1080 nautical miles away from their converging point A, the two frigates are estimated to reach the accident-area by October 21, 2009.

The two frigates (named Xuzhou and Zhoushan respectively) belong to the third escort flotilla Chinese navy put in the waters off Somalia. On September 18, 2009, they just took part in a joint anti-terror exercise with Russian warships in the Gulf of Aden. Each of them is equipped with a Z-9C helicopter. There are several ten commandos on the two warships. This time, what waiting for these soldiers are not a drill any more.

Will China and its navy be smart enough to handle this hot potato the pirates baked for them? It is worth watching.