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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Somali Pirates: Seychelles asks China for counter-pirate "presence"

UPDATE here.

Perhaps reflecting a shift in the currents of international sea power or perhaps just an extension of an existing relationship, the Chinese have been invited to extend some power to an island cluster in the the Indian Ocean bothered by Somali pirates.

As reported by AFP as "Seychelles invites China to set up anti-piracy presence":
"We have invited the Chinese government to set up a military presence on Mahe to fight the pirate attacks that the Seychelles face on a regular basis," Adam said.

"For the time being China is studying this possibility because she has economic interests in the region and Beijing is also involved in the fight against piracy," he explained.
***
"Together, we need to increase our surveillance capacity in the Indian Ocean... as Seychelles has a strategic position between Asia and Africa," Michel said in a statement, adding that China had given its army two light aircraft.

The two countries signed a military cooperation agreement in 2004 that has enabled some 50 Seychelles soldiers to be trained in China. They renewed their agreement Friday, with China to provide further training and equipment.

If the Chinese military presence goes ahead, "it won't be the first foreign military presence here because the Americans already have a small drone station here that they use in the fight against piracy," Adam said.

After warships started deploying in the Gulf of Aden in 2008 to thwart attacks on vessels, Somali pirates enlarged their field of operations into the Indian Ocean, including towards the Seychelles.

4 comments:

  1. I guess China will not miss such an opportunity to add this pearl to its string of naval bases.

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  2. Seychelles is becoming (or making themselves) more strategic... Russia, UAE and now China...
    http://www.oceanuslive.org/main/viewnews.aspx?uid=00000375
    http://www.oceanuslive.org/main/viewnews.aspx?uid=00000365

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous4:38 PM

    I thought they had ties to France?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Seychelles is a blend of every nationality. They have ties with everyone. If such an agreement will help make their fishermen safer, without being harassed by a bunch of illiterate hungry for money goons, so be it!

    ReplyDelete