Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chinese Navy, the Santa of Somali Pirates

Dexinhai@peter peng blog

After more than two months of blackmail and bargain, Somali pirates managed to best Chinese government and Chinese navy and therefore received a big gift—four million U.S. dollars—from China during the Christmas season.

According to Reuters, a Somali pirate, self-proclaimed as "Hassan" informed Reuters by telephone that a Chinese helicopter had dropped four million-dollars as ransom on the deck of the hijacked Chinese bulk carrier Dexinhai on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009.

On Dec. 28, 2009 (China local time), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu announced that 25 Chinese crewmembers and Dexinhai ship were safely rescued and placed under the protection of Chinese naval warships.

The analysts believe, to save the lives of the 25 Chinese hostages and the ship seized by the Somali pirates since Oct. 19, 2009, Chinese 054A Type frigate Chaohu carried the four millions of U.S dollar cash from China and joined in the Chinese 4th naval flotilla in the Gulf of Adam on Dec. 21, 2009. A week later, Dec. 27, 2009, a Chinese naval helicopter with the four million U.S. dollars and four Chinese naval commandos on board took off from the Chaohu frigate. It dropped later the ransom onto the deck of hijacked Dexinhai bulk carrier.

The Chinese cargo ship Dexinhai belongs to Qingdao Ocean Shipping Company of China. The Somali pirates seized it on October 19, 2009 at a point of 980 nautical miles away from the Somali coast. The ship was carrying coal from South Africa heading for India that day.

Shipping ransom under the escort of commandos is a surely shame and sadness to Chinese navy, but a happiness and a merry Christmas to Somali pirates and 25 hijacked Chinese sailors. As long as Somali pirates are still rampant, the scene of a helicopter being used as the Santa’s sleigh will surely appear again and again sooner or later.