Beijing, November 7, 2009 — China
on Friday opened a two-day international conference on efforts to
protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden from Somali pirates, the defense
The meeting would be attended by representatives from "Russia, Japan,
India, the European Union, and other countries' marine forces, including
NATO," it said in a fax to AFP.
"The main topic of discussion will be the implementation of cooperative
efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden and coming up with the
best formula for international cooperation," it said.
China in January joined international efforts to police waters off
Somalia in a bid to fend off pirate attacks.
The meeting comes nearly three weeks after a Chinese coal-carrying
vessel with 25 crew members was hijacked by Somali pirates north of the
China has said efforts to secure the release of the vessel and its crew
were under way but has refused to provide details.
The defense ministry statement gave no further details on the meeting,
such as where it was being held, and an official who asked not to be
named told AFP by phone that media would not be allowed to cover the