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Chinese sailors hailed as heroes [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-11-23 11:27:43 |Display all floors
Chinese sailors hailed as heroes

By Li Xinran  |   2009-11-23  |     NEWSPAPER EDITION

TWO Chinese sailors wounded in a battle against Somalia pirates 11 days ago have returned home to a hero's welcome in southern China's Guangdong Province.

Hong Xianwen and Yan Bo, of the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co, were greeted by flowers and rousing applause when they alighted from an Egypt Air flight about 6pm on Saturday at the airport in the provincial capital of Guangzhou.

They were picked up by colleagues from COSCO (Hong Kong) Shipping Co Ltd and received a fast-track passage from entry and exit officers.

Hong and Yan are crew members of COSCO Hong Kong's "Fu Qiang" who fended off three pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden on November 12.

COSCO President Wei Jiafu said "Fu Qiang" was bound for Italy from Indonesia when it was chased and attacked by pirates in fast boats as it was heading to join the Chinese escort fleet in the gulf.

Crew members repelled three attacks by throwing gas and soft-drink bottles and dousing them with hoses.

A Chinese helicopter arrived and escorted "Fu Qiang" to safety. Hong and Yan suffered arm injuries.

Just a day before the attack, hijacked Chinese bulk carrier "De Xin Hai" appeared on a video off the Somalia port of Hobyo that was screened by China Central Television.

The ship appeared undamaged but the 25 crew members on the ship when it was hijacked last month are still missing.

The carrier, owned by Qingdao Ocean Shipping Company of COSCO, was hijacked in the Indian Ocean with cargo on its way from South Africa to India.

A top Chinese military official said at the time that freeing the ship would be a long, difficult process, and he did not rule out a military response.

A successful rescue of the crew was possible if countries worked together, said Major General Qian Lihua, director of the foreign affairs office of China's Ministry of Defense.

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Post time 2009-11-23 12:45:02 |Display all floors
Has anyone ever contemplate to question...........

  1. Why are the Somali pirates seem to get bolder by the day?

  2. Why is a small band of pirates can outwit the Navies of the world?

  3. Why are the pirates seem or are able to expand their areas of operations?

  4. Why are the pirates seem or are better organized and more efficient?

  5. Why are the pirates seem or are getting better equipped?

  6. Why are the pirates' success rate seem or is improving?

  7. Why is it that (it seems) there is a lack of concerted effort by the international
      maritime communities to bring an end to this piracy.?

  8.  Has any concerted effort been made to find out how and why this piracy can get out
      of control and be so successful in playing the cat and mouse game with the world's
      Navies in the high seas?  

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Post time 2009-11-23 13:26:36 |Display all floors
Millions have been paid to these pirates. That means improved weapons and huge increases in recruitment.

Desperation is a key factor. These people have nothing, and nothing to lose. Somebody figured realized that defenseless ships of immeasurable value are lazily drifting by every day and that "we should go grab one". They did, it worked, they got paid millions. An old industry (piracy) was resurected because the conditions are perfect -- lots of poor men with weapons and nothing to lose, and heaps of lightly protected wealth floating around on the high seas.

It's true that many navies sent ships to patrol the area around somalia, but it's a big area. The sea is vast. The areas hit by pirates may seem small on a map, but it takes days to travel through those areas. When the pirates get into a tiny and very fast boat and zoom out to catch a lumbering giant there is little chance to stop them before they get on board the ship they intend to attack.

These desperate men are willing to try no matter the odds. So if we kill or detain 99 pirate boats, 1 will still have a good chance to capture a valuable ship. This math is good enough for a man who's other option is to sit around watching his children starve to death.

To stop this piracy something more needs to be done:
1. Heavily arm all merchant ships travelling the area.
-or-
2. The smallest blue-water warship is enough to stop a pirate, using one frigate or corvette to escort EVERY merchant entering the area would prevent the possibility of piracy.
-or-
3. Bring jobs to Somalia
-or-
4. Occupy Somalia

#1. seems impossible to enforce because unarmed or insufficiently armed ships can not lawfully be forced to avoid an area. We have no 'guns only zone' in international waters.
#2. Frigates and corvettes are very numerous and escort missions would provide valuable training and global service. This option seems like a good choice. Rather than random patrolling there should be a few stations from which an escort is assigned to every vessel sailing into the danger zone.
#3. Seems a little risky but it might be worth it. Creating jobs often generates profit, at least manufactured products can off-set costs.
#4. Seems extremely risky. The cost is the highest and an insurgency in Somalia would be the perfect spawning conditions for future pirates.

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