Beijing: China is making an "all-out" effort
to rescue a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates, a government spokesman said today.
The De Xin Hai ship and its 25 crew members were seized
by pirates early yesterday in the Indian Ocean about 1,100
kilometres east of the lawless Somali coastline.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said China has
launched a "contingency mechanism" in the wake of the
hijacking and ordered missions abroad to verify developments
and notify relevant countries.
It has also issued warnings to Chinese ships to stay away
from the area "in case of accident or danger."
"We will continue to follow closely the developments and
make all-out efforts to rescue the hijacked ship and
personnel," he said, without elaborating on details.
It is the first successful attack on a Chinese vessel
since the country deployed three naval warships to the region
last year. A previous attack on a Chinese vessel last year was
repelled when the crew used homemade Molotov cocktails to
fight off their attackers.
A spokesman with Qingdao Ocean Shipping Co, Ltd, which
owns the vessel, said the company is working on comforting the
families of those kidnapped.
He declined to give his name because he was not
authorised to speak with media. He said the company was
working with the Transport Ministry and other relevant