China Burnishes Anti-Piracy Credentials Without Clarifying Possible Use of Lethal Force

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense clarified the extent of the Chinese Navy’s anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.
By Ankit Panda
A few weeks ago, I discussed China’s aspirations to burnish its anti-piracy credentials by responding forcefully to the new resurgence in piracy off the Horn of Africa.
In at least two incidents in April, Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy vessels, assisted by the Indian Navy in at least one of the two instances, acted as first responders. In the first incident, Chinese forces rescued the crew of a Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier, the OS 35, and in the second, the PLAN responded to a distressed Panamanian-flagged carrier, the Alheera. With reference to the latter, Voice of America reported that unidentified “foreign naval forces” used lethal force against the pirates.
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