A useful graphic of where the ship was from Sina
We’ve had a couple laughs over Somalian pirates before, but they’ve now taken a turn for the scary. It seems China’s luck in dealing with them in the past has run out and it’s now facing its first real crisis: Pirates have hijacked a Chinese bulk carrier in the Indian Ocean and are threatening to execute the 25 Chinese crew members if anybody attempts to save them.
According to Reuters, an associate of the gang called from his pirate stronghold in Haradheere to warn against a rescue operation:
“We tell China not to endanger the lives of their people with any rescue operation,”…
“If they try that we will execute the whole crew … we tell them to change their mind regarding any rescue, otherwise they will regret it. We know what they are planning to do.”
De Xin Hai, the ship, was reportedly hijacked at around noon, 550 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the East coast of Somalia. Its owner, Qingdao Ocean shipping Co., reported its situation to the Chinese Maritime Search and Rescue Center at 3:50pm this afternoon.
Despite the threats, the Chinese government has said that it wil be making an “all-out effort to rescue the crew members of the ship.” While it didn’t specify what kind of rescue plan was in the works, according to Shanghai Daily, two PLA navy missile frigates are “heading at full steam” towards Somalia.