China helps fight piracy off Somalia

International naval forces still suppressing piracy in region. 

China helps fight piracy off Somalia

A senior US State Department official praised China’s efforts in global counterpiracy in the waters off Somalia, a busy sea lane where attacks and hijacking of commercial ships worry many nations.

Todd Chapman, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs of the State Department, said it was reassuring to see China prominently represented in the battle against piracy.

“China’s spokesperson stated very clearly their commitment to this issue and they want to continue the long-standing partnership with other members of the Contact Group, so I think it’s an encouraging sign,” Chapman told a press briefing in Washington on Friday.

He was referring to a late-October meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of the 17th plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), an international forum launched in 2009.

Chapman, who began his current job in September, attended that conference. He called it “a fantastic example of the international community coming together to address the common problem” and “a model of 21st century partnership”.

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