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China acquires the right to take the lead in anti-piracy coordination

(BRUSSELS2) At the end of a meeting held on Thursday in New York within the contact group on the “fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia”, an agreement was reached between the various partners in the fight against piracy. For months, China has wanted to see its role better recognized by the West in particular. China had thus proposed to provide for cooperation on the basis of areas of responsibility; device that the EU, NATO and CMF did not want, instead proposing rules for coordination in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC – Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor). Suffice it to say that there was deep disagreement.

It actually took several rounds of negotiation, in Bahrain and within the contact group in New York, to find a compromise that preserves the two positions: areas of responsibility and coordination. The Chinese, who are ready to send more boats to the area, also wanted to see their leadership role recognized. This should be done: the Chinese taking their turn in leading the coordination of SHADE (*). Proof that the discussions were difficult, the press release published on Friday by the Chinese Ministry of Defense is in the purest “wooden language” style: « China has had an open and positive attitude on international cooperation in ship escort and is willing to cooperate with countries and organizations within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions for peace and stability in the waters of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden is it thus written (source: China New Xinhua agency).

(*) the SHADE system (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) brings together the main fleet commanders present in the area
to coordinate the fight

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).