by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 9, 2011
China and several neighbouring countries will provide armed escorts to ships navigating the Mekong River, state media said Wednesday, after 13 Chinese sailors were killed on the key waterway last month.
The sailors died in a raid on two Chinese cargo boats on the Mekong on October 5 -- an attack thought to have been carried out by a notorious gang in the "Golden Triangle" area known for drug smuggling.
Police in Thailand have since detained nine soldiers suspected of killing the sailors, and also thought to have links to a Myanmar drug kingpin.
The state-run China Daily newspaper quoted the Ministry of Public Security as saying China and its Southeast Asian neighbours -- believed to be Thailand, Laos and Myanmar -- would begin armed patrols on the river next month.
"China's contribution to the patrols will come from a special armed force established under the Yunnan Provincial Border Control Corps," the report quoted Cheng Jun, spokesperson for the ministry's border control bureau, as saying.
The ministry refused to comment when contacted by AFP.
The report also quoted Yang Xi, a spokesperson for the Yunnan border corps, as saying that patrol forces would escort both Chinese ships and those from other countries.
The Mekong flows through Yunnan into southeast Asia.
China reacted angrily to the October attack, summoning diplomatic envoys from Thailand, Laos and Myanmar and asking authorities to speed up investigations into the incident.
It also sent patrol boats down the Mekong to escort 164 stranded Chinese sailors and 28 cargo ships home, and has suspended shipping on the waterway, which runs through the four countries as well as Cambodia and Vietnam.
The river normally serves as a major trade route through those countries.
21st Century Pirates
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Somali pirate attacks hit record level
Mogadishu, Somalia (UPI) Nov 8, 2011
Attacks on shipping by increasingly sophisticated Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean reached record levels in the first nine months of the year, the International Maritime Bureau says. Indian shipowners, who have been increasingly hit as pirates have extended their raids up to 1,500 nautical miles east of the gulf, deep into the India Ocean, say the piracy scourge i ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|