China says military action not final solution to Somali piracy

Published: November 18, 2011

A Chinese diplomat said here on Thursday that a fundamental settlement to the Somali piracy issue hinges on the country’s political stability, economic development and social tranquility.

Military action can only mitigate the scourge of Somali piracy, said Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, when addressing the tenth plenary meeting of the contact group on piracy off the coast of Somalia.

He said China welcomes the progress made by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in implementing the Kampala Accord, and hopes that the relevant parties in Somalia will strengthen coordination and cooperation, resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiations, and implement the “roadmap ending the transition” without delay.

“We call on the international community to remain focused on the situation in Somalia, continue to adopt a holistic and multifaceted strategy to provide support to the country, tackle both the symptoms and root causes of the problem, and follow through on its commitments to provide assistance to Somalia,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He said the Chinese Navy started to dispatch escort warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali waters since January 2009. By the end of October this year, China has dispatched ten batches of 26 warships to engage in escort missions for 4,228 vessels in 383 batches.

“The escort missions are 100 percent successful,” he added.

“We rescued 46 vessels which were attacked and chased by pirates, and escorted nine vessels which were released after abduction,” he said.

China also cooperated with the European Union on four escort missions for food-delivering ships of the UN World Food Program, he noted.

In the third quarter of this year, he said, China voluntarily submitted the escort schedule of the Chinese Navy in the Somali waters for the first quarter of 2012 to facilitate the coordination of the escort schedules of the parties concerned and improve the efficiency of escort and counter-piracy efforts.

China will continue to strengthen coordination and information sharing in military activities with the parties concerned on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing, Wang said.

China has so far provided 2.2 million U.S. dollars in cash to the African Union(AU) peacekeeping operations in Somalia, and 5 million yuan (780,000 dollars) to Uganda and Burundi respectively to be used for purchasing logistical supplies to support the two countries’ participation in African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), he further noted.

He called on the international community to further enhance the capacity of regional mechanisms to respond to the Somali issue, increase financial, technical and logistical assistance to AMISOM and create conditions for the United Nations to take over the tasks of the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia at an early date.

Source: Xinhua