Feb 23, 2009

So Russia-China relations might not be as good as we thought...

This makes zero sense to me.

New York Times: A senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Friday that Russia had an unacceptable response after 1 of its warships sank a Chinese cargo vessel last Saturday. The warship fired 500 rounds at the vessel, sinking it in stormy Russian waters near the eastern port city of Vladivostok. 7 sailors are still missing (AKA dead).

Li Hui, the deputy foreign minister, has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the way Russia has handled the episode, and has accused Russia of not making strong enough efforts to save the drowning sailors.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the captain of the Chinese ship was to blame for the sinking and that the ship had earlier been chased by two Russian Coast Guard vessels, but refused to stop despite being fired upon.

Neither the Chinese nor Russian governments have fully explained why Russian ships were pursuing the Chinese vessel.



Devin said...

Fascinating-I agree WTF?? One of the hardest things I have found is trying to pin down China's 'true' stance geopolitically-this is very strange-ps liked the "AKA as dead" -best to all of you!

Dmitri Minaev said...

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did explain it on Saturday. See this document at the MoFA web-site (lame translation by Google is here).

In brief:

New Star left the port of Nakhodka without permission of the authorities and without customs clearance, and the captain did not reply to the requests that the ship should return. Russian border guard followed New Star since 3:41 till 10:10. At 10:10 some warning shots were made, but there was no reaction. At 10:51 Russian border guard made some shots at the fore end. The captain of New Star did not stop. More than five hours later, at 16:15, the border guard had to open fire aiming the ship's engine.

After this attack, the captain reported that there are dead or wounded among the crew and that the ship is returning to Nakhodka.

At 07:55 next day, New Star signalled SOS and the crew began leaving the ship. The weather conditions (wind 28 mps, waves up to 7 meters, water temperature +4-6°C) were harsh, but the border guards saved 8 people.

Ern said...

Awesome, thanks for providing the document. This story is just crazy and begs for explanation.

Mable said...

Oh my god, there's so much helpful info here!