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Jakarta Post

China offers ASEAN joint effort to counter piracy

  • Mustaqim Adamrah and Adianto P. Simamora

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, May 21 2011   /  08:00 am

China has offered to hold joint patrols with ASEAN countries to escort vessels from the region crossing the Gulf of Aden in the wake of rampant Somali piracy.

“China offered [ASEAN countries] a coordinated convoy to escort merchant vessels crossing the Gulf of Aden for their safety. If any ASEAN countries are willing to be part of that convoy headed by China‘s Navy, they should let China know,” Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told a press conference in Jakarta on Friday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting.

Hamidi said the offer was made by the Chinese delegation during an informal breakfast meeting limited to defense ministers.

Indonesian Defense Ministry secretary-general Eris Herryanto said although he did not know anything about the offer, it was possible for Indonesia to join coordinated patrols as long as “we share a ...