Archive for the ‘maritime’ Category

China’s Anti-Piracy Warriors, Ready To Go

December 30, 2008

As a veteran airborne naval soldier, 43-year-old Zhao Jianhua has been on lots of sea trips, but none means more than the one officially started on December 26, 2008.

He is travelling with the Chinese naval fleet, along with 800 crew members, heading for the Gulf of Aden on China’s epic anti-piracy mission off Somali waters. It is the first time China has mobilized military forces to safeguard the national interests overseas since the ancient Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644).

As the Deputy Colonel of the helicopters’ unit of the Chinese navy’s escort fleet, Zhao is in charge of the elite forces who will pilot helicopters as part of three strategic missions: to patrol and guard the flotilla from danger, to aid in search and rescue, and to transport supplies and crew.

From: China Daily

Read the rest:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-12
/30/content_7354627.htm

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Navy special force members wave on the deck of a warship. Chinese warships, armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters, set sail Friday for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Zha Chunming)

China projects naval power in pirate fight

December 30, 2008

China’s dispatch of two warships to help battle Somalian pirates has drawn an ambivalent global reaction – a sign of the decidedly mixed feelings toward its bid for big-power status.

Two destroyers and a supply ship steamed out of a southern Chinese port Friday, on China‘s first patrol and potential combat mission beyond Chinese waters. The ships are due to reach the Gulf of Aden by Jan. 6 and carry 870 crew members, including 70 elite Navy special forces trained in close combat and helicopter-borne raids, according to the China Daily newspaper.

By Jonathan Adams
Christian Science Monitor

Two days earlier, a Chinese defense official, at a rare press conference, gave one of the clearest indications yet that China plans to build an aircraft carrier.

The developments reflect China’s determination to boost its sea power, in line with its rising economic and political clout.

“Now we have more overseas interests and activities, so that’s why we need a stronger force on the oceans,” says Peng Guangqian, a military expert in Beijing.

The United States frets about how a bulked-up Chinese Navy might complicate a Taiwan conflict scenario. But it welcomed the decision to join amultinational naval “posse” battling Somalian brigands, who have turned waters off east Africa into a hazardous pirates’ alley and wreaked havoc on world trade. Still, some of China’s Asian neighbors have expressed concern about its naval muscle-flexing.

China Navy's destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, ... 
China Navy’s destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, bottom left, and supply ship the Weishanhu, right, are moored at port before leaving for the Navy’s first oversea operation from Sanya, southern China’s Hainan province Friday, Dec. 26, 2008. On Friday, warships armed with special forces, missiles and helicopters will sail for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Color China Photo)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/2008
1230/ts_csm/ochinaboat_1

Related:
China’s Growing Naval Might Worries Many

China Says Navy Force to Fight Somali Pirates

December 18, 2008

China is all set to send a naval fleet on a mission to fight pirates in Somali waters, a military source told China Daily on Tuesday
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“There will be a significant peacekeeping operation (in Somalia),” the source said, but did not reveal the scale of the mission.

Dutch cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday

Seven Chinese ships or crews have been attacked off Somalia this year

From: China Daily

China will tell a United Nations Security Council meeting this morning (Beijing time) that “we wish to work with others to reach a positive outcome”, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday, without confirming the status of the mission.

“The Chinese government supports the international community’s decision to cooperate on the piracy problem according to international law and the UN Security Council’s resolutions,” Liu Jianchao told a news briefing on Tuesday, referring to Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei’s meeting in New York.

Related:
Naval Shps from Around The Globe Watch For Pirates. Where is China?

China Conducts Massive Anti-Piracy Drill; May Send Ships Near Somalia
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Read the rest:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-12/17/content_7311735.htm

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From the BBC

State media suggested the force could consist of two destroyers and a supply ship, although officials did not confirm the details of the deployment.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7789303.stm
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In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, ... 
In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, Indian warship INS Tabar, right, escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from a hijack attempt by Somali pirates. (AP Photo/Indian Navy, HO, File)

As international forces rescued a hijacked Chinese ship from Somali pirates Wednesday, state news media reports said China planned to send a naval fleet to fight pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.

An unnamed military source told the state-run English-language China Daily that the operation would be “a significant peacekeeping mission,” but a National Defense University professor of military strategy told The Washington Post it would be the first time China has taken part in a “battle task.” 

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 18, 2008; Page A20
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In this photograph released by the Indian Navy, Indian Marine ...
In this photograph released by the Indian Navy, Indian Marine Commandos board a suspected pirate ship as its surrendering crew (L) hold their hands above their heads in the Gulf of Aden on December 13, 2008. The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a new US resolution authorizing for one year international operations against pirates inside Somalia.[Agencies] 

“It is also a very good opportunity to rehearse sea rescue tasks and telecommunication with other military forces,” said the professor, who is also a senior figure in the navy and asked to be identified only by his surname, Zhang. “Although we’ve attended U.N. peacekeeping tasks before, we were not involved in military actions. This is the first time China is taking part in a battle task.”

Piracy off Somalia has increased shipping insurance costs, forced ships onto roundabout routes and sparked international alarm. Nearly 400 people and 19 ships are being held for ransom along the Somali coast, according to the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Program, prompting international anti-piracy operations and a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing states to “undertake all necessary measures” to stop the pirates.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/articl
e/2008/12/17/AR2008121703345.html?wprss=rss_world%2Fasia

Anti-Piracy Force Thwarts Attack on Chinese Ship; Chinese Navy Not Yet Helping

December 17, 2008

China, one of the few of the major world powers to avoid sending naval forces to deter pirates and defend against cargo ship captures, reaps the benefits of the international anti-piracy effort today….

By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press Writer

An international anti-piracy force thwarted the attempted takeover of a Chinese cargo ship off the Somali coast on Wednesday, sending in attack helicopters that fired on the bandits and forced them to abandon the ship they had boarded.

In another blow to the region’s thriving piracy trade, the Indian navy handed over 23 pirates it caught at sea to authorities in Yemen.

In Wednesday’s assault, nine pirates armed with guns overtook the Chinese ship with speedboats and boarded the vessel, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He said the 30-member crew sent a distress message to the bureau as it saw the pirates approaching, then barricaded themselves inside their living quarters. Choong said the bureau quickly alerted the international naval force, which dispatched two helicopters and a warship.

A member of the Dutch special forces stands guard near the bridge ... 
A member of the Dutch special forces stands guard near the bridge of Dutch cargo ship MV Jumbo Javelin as it passes near the Gulf of Aden on Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. The Dutch warship De Ruyter, seen in the background, was escorting the cargo ship through the Gulf of Aden, which has become the world’s top piracy hotspot this year. Pirates have made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom this year, seizing 40 vessels off Somalia’s 1,880-mile coastline. Fourteen ships remain held along with more than 250 crew members, according to maritime officials.(AP Photo/Tom Maliti, file)

“Two helicopters arrived at the scene first and helped deter the hijacking. They fired at the pirates, forcing them to flee the ship,” he said. There were no injuries during the five-hour ordeal.

“The Chinese ship is very fortunate to have escaped. This is a rare case where pirates have successfully boarded the ship but failed to hijack it,” he added.

Related:
 China Closer To Navy Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081
217/ap_on_re_af/piracy

Somali Pirates Grab 3 More Ships, Even As UN OKs Shore Raids

December 17, 2008

Somali pirates seized four ships in the Gulf of Aden on the same day the United Nations Security Council authorized countries to pursue the gunmen on land.

A Kenyan maritime group said pirates hijacked an Indonesian tugboat, a Turkish cargo ship, a Chinese fishing vessel and a yacht on Tuesday, all in one the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

FILE---Dutch cargo ships the MV Stolt Innovation, in the foreground, ...

Rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia this year has earned gunmen millions of dollars in ransom, hiked shipping insurance costs and sent foreign navies rushing to patrol shipping lanes off the Horn of Africa nation.

The seizures have prompted some of the world’s biggest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and send cargo vessels around southern Africa instead — which could push up the cost of commodities and manufactured goods.

While warships from several nations are patrolling the seas off Somalia and escorting ships, analysts say the problem must be tackled on land as well for any lasting solution.

The resolution passed by the 15-nation Security Council on Tuesday said states “may undertake all necessary measures in Somali, including in its airspace” to stop the pirates.

Andrew Mwangura of the Kenyan-based East African Seafarers Assistance program said on Wednesday that Chinese fishing vessel Zhenhua-4 with 30 Chinese crew and a yacht with two on board had been seized off Yemen a day earlier.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081217/wl_nm
/us_somalia_piracy_1

Anti-Piracy: Where’s China’s Navy?

December 14, 2008

Among the naval forces of the world on guard against Somali pirates, China is conspicuously absent.  Today, a Chinese general asks “If China wants to be a world power, how come we are poweless so often?”

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By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

A Chinese general has called for the country’s navy to join the fight against Somali pirates, saying the mission would boost China’s international stature and give its sailors valuable experience in fighting open ocean combat operations far from their home ports.

Chinese ships have been among those seized in a wave of pirate attacks this year, including the fishing vessel Tianyu No. 8, seized in mid-November.

International warships from NATO and countries including Russia patrol the Gulf of Aden and have created a security corridor in the area under a U.S.-led initiative, but attacks have not abated.

Russia says it will send more ships to patrol the area off the coast of Somalia.
Russian Navy warship passes through the Suez canal and goes toward pirate patrol….

“Piracy doesn’t just interfere in our country’s navigational safety, it also impedes our development and interests,” Major General Jin Yinan told state radio.

“I think our navy should send ships to the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy duties,” Jin said, according to a transcript of the interview posted Thursday on the Web site of the official China News Service. The date of the interview was not given.

In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, ... 
In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, Indian warship INS Tabar, right, escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from a hijack attempt by Somali pirates. The Indian navy says the INS Tabar dedicated to fighting pirates has successfully fought off an attempted pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden, sparking explosions and a fire on the suspected pirate ship late Tuesday, Nov. 18.(AP Photo/Indian Navy, HO, File)

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has little experience operating at long-range, its primary mission being coastal patrol. However, the service is believed to have major ambitions, possibly including the eventual deployment of an aircraft carrier.

Related:
China Conducts Massive Anti-Piracy Drill; May Send Ships Near Somalia

Indian Navy Captures 23 Somali, Yemeni Pirates

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081204/ap_on_re_as/as_china_piracy_1

The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf ... 
The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Eric Cabanis)

Indian Navy Captures 23 Somali, Yemeni Pirates

December 13, 2008

The Indian navy says it has arrested 23 Somali and Yemeni pirates who tried to storm a ship in the Gulf of Aden.

A navy spokesman said it had responded to a mayday call from MV Gibe, flying under the Ethiopian flag.

Several countries have warships patrolling the gulf amid growing international concern about piracy.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said better intelligence was needed for a land attack on pirate bases to be considered.

BBC


Indian Navy ship INS Mysore apparently made today’s capture….

Mr Gates, speaking at a security conference in Bahrain, also called for shipping companies to do more to protect their vessels travelling through the Arabian Sean and Indian Ocean.

Arms cache

The Indian government said in a statement that the captured pirates had a cache of arms and equipment, including seven AK-47 assault rifles, three machine guns, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The pirates would be handed over to the appropriate authorities, the statement added.

Last month, India’s navy said it had sunk a pirate “mother vessel” off Somalia.

But it later emerged that the vessel was actually a Thai fishing trawler that had been seized by pirates off Yemen.

Better intelligence

Mr Gates told the security conference: “The need for increased maritime security and potentially new and better means of co-operation…

Related:
China Conducts Massive Anti-Piracy Drill; May Send Ships Near Somalia

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7781436.stm

Pirates: Russia Renews Commitment to Anti-Piracy Patrol

December 9, 2008

Russia’s navy says a warship on anti-piracy patrol off Somalia will be replaced soon.

Russia sent the missile frigate Neustrashimy, or Intrepid, after pirates seized a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks in September. The ship from Russia’s Northern Fleet has been escorting freighters and the navy says it has helped thwart at least two pirate attacks.

Above: Neustrashimy

Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said Tuesday that the Intrepid will remain in the region through the end of December and be replaced by a ship from Russia’s Pacific Fleet. The navy previously said it would replace the Neustrashimy with another ship and continue the Russian presence off Somalia.

Related:
Naval Shps from Around The Globe Watch For Pirates. Where is China?