Monday, December 28, 2009

Perhaps Not Their Finest Hour

The Chinese are trying to make it seem as if they freed their hostages held by Somalian pirates:

A hijacked Chinese cargo ship and 25 sailors were rescued Monday, two months after they were seized by pirates off the lawless Somali coast, Chinese state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the ship and crew were now under the protection of a Chinese naval fleet after an early morning rescue but didn't say if the ship was retaken by force or if a ransom was paid.

"Rescued" implies a rather active Chinese role.

But no, the Chinese do not have their own "to the shores of Somalia" moment. Strategypage writes that the Chinese paid:

What was not mentioned was the payment of a $3.5 million ransom, and the pirates then leaving the ship. The seizure of the ship, two months ago, despite the presence of Chinese warships and commandos in the area, was embarrassing for the Chinese government.

I suppose it should be comforting that the Chinese can be just as wimpy as the West.