The Chinese Navy has decided to send warships to help combat piracy off the Somali coast. Chinese fishing vessels and freighters have been hard hit by this year’s spike in piracy.
The Chinese deployment, which the U.S. welcomes as a chance to increase cooperation with Beijing, will take weeks to organize and travel the distance from China to Africa.
In the meantime, one Chinese ship crew took the war on piracy into their own hands, using water hoses and Molotov cocktails to fight back pirates who had boarded their Shanghai-bound vessel.
The crew of Zhenhua-4 barricaded themselves on an upper deck, emptied 400 beer bottles and filled them with gas, lobbing the improvised bombs at pirates milling around on the lower deck. The 90-minute battle ended with the crew locked in the cabins as the frustrated pirates tried to beat down the doors. Then a Malaysian ship and its helicopters arrived, sending the pirates fleeing.