Beijing : China on Monday claimed full credit for rescuing a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the strategic Gulf of Aden, ignoring Indian Navy’s role in the operation.

While a Chinese navy statement last night omitted any reference to the Indian Navy in providing helicopter cover to the Chinese vessel who’s special forces boarded the Tuvaluan ship under hijack, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the operation demonstrated “effectiveness of the Chinese naval force in the field of fighting against pirates”.

When questioned about the absence of any mention of the Indian Navy’s role in the operation, Hua said China’s Ministry of Defence should be approached for details. “According to what we have learnt from the military on April 8 at 5 PM the 25th convoy of Chinese navy which was conducting the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden in Somali waters received reports from the UKMTO (United Kingdom Marine Trade Operation) about the hijack of Tuvalaun ship OS35,” she said.

“The fleet vessel Yulin set out for the area immediately and rescue operation started early morning on April 9. Under the cover of helicopters, special force members of the navy boarded the ship and rescued 19 (Filipino) crew members on broad. Both the ship and the crew members are safe now,” she told reporters.

Hua did not mention the assistance the Indian Navy provided to the Chinese navy in the operation.Her comments came a day after the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) said in a statement that it rescued the ship.               PTI

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