China has not ruled out military action to rescue the hostages of the bulk carrier Dexinhai which was hijacked by Somali pirates October 19, says a Chinese official.
The Chinese government is currently soliciting opinions from countries involved in anti-piracy off the Somali coast, said Major General Qian Lihua, director of the foreign affairs office of China's Ministry of Defense on Thursday. A meeting intended to clarify areas of responsibility on the sea and improve coordination will open in Beijing November 6, according to Qian.
The Dexinhai was confirmed to have arrived off the coast of Somalia and was now in the vicinity of Hobyo Thursday night, according to the EU navy. There wasn't any updated information about the hostages.
If countries involved in anti-piracy operations in seas off the Somali coast worked in concert, it would be possible to rescue 25 hostages successfully, but it would depend on the ongoing situation which made it difficult to resolve the issue, Qian said at a conference on China-US relations in Beijing.
More than 20 countries' navies have been deployed off the Somali coast and since the beginning of the year and have operated convoys for ships, including China, EU countries, Brazil, South Korea. China suggests that different countries escort different expanses of sea in order to raise the efficiency of convoy actions. Many countries have responded this suggestion, added Qian.