Thirty Chinese sailors were missing after pirates attacked their China-owned ship in waters near Somalia on Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Pirates attacked the vessel, owned by China Communications Construction Co., in the Gulf of Aden at 12:43 pm Beijing time (0443 GMT), Xinhua said.
"Thirty Chinese sailors were aboard the ship, 'Zhenhua 4'," the news agency reported."
"The company has lost contact with the sailors and their conditions are unknown."
The report came as China considered sending warships to fight piracy off Somalia, state media said, announcing what would be an unprecedented display of naval power far from its shores.
"China is seriously considering sending naval ships to the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast for escorting operations in the near future," Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei was quoted as saying in New York by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.
This would be the first time in modern history that the nation's navy carried out a mission outside Chinese waters, according to Shen Shishun, an expert with the Chinese Institute of International Studies, a government think tank.
He Yafei was speaking at a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council - of which China is a permanent member - which on Tuesday unanimously authorised international land operations against armed pirates sheltering in Somalia.
Pirates have carried out more than 100 attacks in the key shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden, located between the south of Yemen and the north of Somalia, and the Indian Ocean east of Somalia since the start of this year.
Last month, they captured the world's attention when they hijacked the Saudi-owned super-tanker Sirius Star, carrying two million barrels of crude oil, and demanded a $US25 million ($A35.94 million) ransom for the boat and its crew.
It is one of about 17 ships, including a Chinese vessel, in pirate hands.
Vice-Foreign Minister He also met Somalia's foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Jama, on the sidelines of the meeting to raise concerns over the 17 Chinese nationals currently in the hands of the pirates, Xinhua reported.
AFP 17 Dec 2008
Here is another job for Team America World Police, with their brand new shiny acquired toys (Multiple Kill Vehicle)
to get rid of these terrorists*, because we all know how evil terrorists are thanks to the ever so diligent unbiased western media,
and how T.A.W.P. is the purveyor of justice and goodness !!!
so that we can sleep safely knowing that ship can pass safely near Somalia*.
Somalia ??? !!!! ??? Who ??? !!! ??? Have they any Oil ( $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ ) ??? !!! ??? !!!
*Somalia - NOT a state of the US, but WTF, let's invade it (if there's Oil)