China is currently praising its own navy’s heroic rescue on Sunday of a cargo ship that had fallen victim to Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden; however, they do appear to be forgetting one small detail…
The Indian Navy also played a part in the rescue operation, giving Chinese special forces helicopter cover while they boarded the hijacked Tuvaluan ship. Strangely, this fact appears to have been glossed over by China’s Navy, Foreign Ministry and media.
On Sunday night, the Chinese Navy released a statement about the operation, failing to include any mention of Indian Navy assistance. When asked about that peculiar omission at a press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that details of the operation should be referred to China’s Ministry of Defense, while gloating that the operation showed the “effectiveness of the Chinese naval force in the field of fighting against pirates.”
Meanwhile, a Xinhua account of the operation does not mention the Indian Navy. Neither does a laudatory Global Times editorial which brags that “The operation demonstrates China’s growing strength and role in fighting against piracy and safeguarding maritime security of major waters of the world.”
Which makes it a bit awkward when the Indian Navy refers to the operation as “a show of international maritime cooperation against piracy” and tweets a picture of an Indian helicopter hovering over a Chinese Navy ship.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 10, 2017
The rescue operation was conducted amidst increasing tensions between China and India, mostly due to a visit by the Dalai Lama to the symbolically important border town of Tawang where locals are hoping he’ll be reincarnated.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat