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Keeping peace in Somalian waters

07-19-2012 09:28 BJT Special Report:5th Ministerial Meeting of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation |

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Chinese naval forces began conducting escort and patrol missions to the Gulf of Aden in 2008. The anti-piracy patrols are among a series of measures that China has taken to address instability in Somalia and promote peace across the African Continent.

Toward the high seas.

The Chinese navy is setting out to fight pirates far away from home.

In the waters off the Somalian coast and the Gulf of Aden, Chinese navy vessels have so far escorted 4,700 ships and directly deterred 41 pirate attacks, since they began operations five years ago. Nearly half of the protected vessels have been foreign ones.

International studies expert, Liu Youfa, believes that while such operations provide an opportunity to train the navy, their political and diplomatic gesture is more important.

Dr. Liu Youfa, vice president of China Institute of International Studies, said, "The escort mission is a gesture to demonstrate the Chinese commitment to being a constructive and cooperative partner at the international level."

Since late 2008, the Chinese navy has sent 19 different vessels to the area. China has also worked together with navies from India and Japan in escort and patrol duties for international vessels.

Reporter: "The escort mission of the Chinese navy has contributed to the security of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. But patrolling the high seas, some say, is only part of the solution. To solve the piracy issue, the answer lies on land, not at sea."

Addressing the root cause of instability holds the key to the piracy issues and China is making its own efforts.

Liu said, "A fairly recent example is that China provides food assistance to parts of Somalia, where a famine is looming. The Chinese government has also been liaising with all the forces in the region, government, warlords and other political forces, so as to find out what they need. They we could advise Chinese government and other countries concerned what to do to help restore peace and development to end piracy. "

A lack of economic development and social safety net often fuels piracy. Dr. Liu believes that the ongoing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation provides a platform to call on all members to help Somalia restore nation-building and production. This among other measures will help to eventually restore peace at sea.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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