Monday, December 28, 2009

China "Rescues" Ship From Pirates

China's Xinhua news agency is reporting today that the Chinese-owned ship De Xin Hai has been successfully rescued from pirates off the coast of Somalia. Apparently though the "rescue" involved a helicopter dropping a ransom of reportedly four million dollars to pirates on the deck of the De Xin Hai, who then released the ship.

The Chinese government is denying that they bought the freedom of the De Xin Hai, though they're also not giving any details about the alleged rescue operation. When the De Xin Hai was seized in October, the Chinese government publicly vowed to make all attempts to free the ship and crew. It seems though in the end the Chinese did what other governments have - simply paid the pirates off to release their ship.

The De Xin Hai was one of the biggest ships taken by Somali pirates, the ship is a bulk cargo hauler and was carrying 76,000 tons of coal. According to the European Union, the Somali pirates are still holding eight ships and more than 200 sailors.
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