China major-general urges navy to fight Somali pirates
Beijing, 4 Dec-(ANA)-China should send naval ships to help wipe out Somali pirates menacing commercial vessels off Africa, a prominent Chinese military strategist said, urging his nation to take a higher profile in such operations.
Major-General Jin Yinan's comments may reflect growing debate about combating the rising piracy in a country which has generally confined its growing naval strength to waters near home.
Jin told a Chinese radio interviewer that "nobody should be shocked" if his government one day decided to send navy ships to deal with the pirates, whose recent victims have included ships from mainland China and Hong Kong.
"With China as a major world economy, it's very difficult to say that security problems across the world have nothing to do with us," Jin said in the interview reprinted by the China News Service (www.chinanews.com.cn), an official agency, on Thursday.
Jin, head of a strategy institute at China's NationalDefenceUniversity, gave no sign that such naval action was under imminent consideration. But he said China's growing clout made it increasingly likely that the government would use its forces in security operations far from home.
"I believe the Chinese navy should send naval vessels to the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy duties," he said. "If one day, the Chinese navy sends ships to deal with pirates, nobody should be shocked." (ANA)