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China Sends Three Warships To Join International Effort To Battle Somalia Pirates

China's People's Liberation Army Navy is sending three powerful modern warships to join the international effort to battle pirates off the coast of Somalia which have attacked numerous ships and asked for $30 million in ransom so far this year. China had 1,265 commercial vessels pass through the gulf waters around Somalia so far this year, and seven ships were attacked by pirates and two crews are still being held by Somalian pirates for ransom. China received the support of the UN for this peacekeeping mission to keep international waters near Somalia safe for commercial shipping and for ocean cruise liners with vacationers.chinese warship.jpg

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy forces include two warships armed with missiles, cannons and helicopters as well as a supply ship. 800 sailors and 70 Chinese special forces troops are involved in this international peacekeeping mission and join a fleet of other forces including the U.S., Russia, Britain, Germany, France, India and Iran which have also deployed warships in the region as well. On Thursday, a German warship foiled a group of pirates involved in attacks on international shipping. But so far leaders of the pirates continue to threaten more attacks on international shipping despite a growing international force of peacekeepers that have been experiencing success attacking pirate vessels or capturing pirate crews. However, a number of ship crews of international ships still remain as hostage of pirates as they continue to demand ransom payments.

Part of the difficulty in dealing with Somalia is that it does not have a functioning government. Back in 1991, a coalition of warlords overthrew a dictator, and these warlords have been in control of sectors of this country in deep poverty of around 8 million persons ever since. And the warlords have done little to nothing to stop the pirate attacks, which in some cases may even have their support and blessing.

For the international community, dealing with a rogue state like this with no real government in charge and the lawless nature of the warlords and the pirates presents a major challenge. So far, the international community has largely operated at sea. But some ground forces may be needed in dangerous missions very soon to help free ground crews or to eventually place an operational government in place in Somalia to restore some sense of order.

Both Japan and South Korea, as well as the U.S. continue to be somewhat wary of the recent growth of the powerful Chinese blue-water capable naval ships and their powerful array of weapons. Such modern warships could even be equipped with nuclear warhead anti-ship missiles designed to completely destroy aircraft carriers from a rival navy in the event of a war between powerful naval forces. And this new international mission marks the first time that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has deployed these modern new warships so far from their waters in what is expected to be at least a three month deployment mission. However, the UN certainly welcomes any new deployment of warships to address this serious pirate threat to international shipping and to the cruise liner industry, many of which ships are of a Liberian registry.


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Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes cast)


Comments (4)

Allen:

Paul, you stated: "Both Japan and South Korea, as well as the U.S. continue to be somewhat wary of the recent growth of the powerful Chinese blue-water capable naval ships and their powerful array of weapons. Such modern warships could even be equipped with nuclear warhead anti-ship missiles designed to completely destroy aircraft carriers from a rival navy in the event of a war between powerful naval forces".

I guess its OK for Russia and the USA to do this, but nobody else. Wake up, our world is changing, faster than most people realize. It's funny China is good enough to purchase our debts, but not good enough to have a deep sea navy.

Allen, actually I don't think that China's modern Navy is all that much of a threat myself, although Japan, South Korea, and some American military heads may disagree.

China is viewing itself as a world superpower and building beautiful modern warships is probably little more than a reflection of that pride in their technological and societal advances. And China's participation in the peacekeeping duties is yet another sign of their entry into the world as a responsible state.

I don't view this nation as that much of a threat for these reasons myself. But the size of the nation as well as sheer scope of their military modernization does seriously concern many others. But China is hardly the hostile nation of the past, and I expect to behave like a responsible world community member in the future as well.

ke_future:

Given Chinese action in Tibet, it's goals for Tiawan, the repression of it's own people: No, they aren't good enough for their own blue water navy. And yes, that's totally a judgement call.

Is that to say that China, as a nation should give up their goals? No. It's just to say that we can legitimitly criticize they fact that they do. To be honest, I just don't trust them given their record.

Rick:

Somehow I don't think China will become a "world power". Historically, every empire that has done so has gone the way of the dodo bird. China has a history that goes back thousands of years, likely because they have never been foolish enough to try to rule the world. Perhaps a bit of saber rattling here and there, but mostly behind the scenes influencing that won't threaten what they have already.

On the plus side, their human rights record will work in their favour in dealing with the pirates (and others who use Islam as an excuse to do nasty things). If a pirate is caught by the Chinese, are they likely to copy the Germans and catch & release, or rather did that pirate never exist?


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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