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Crime & Corruption

North Koreans demand RMB1.2 million ransom for 3 Chinese fishing boats


China’s caixin.com reports that on May 8, four Chinese fishing boats were held by unidentified armed North Koreans, some in uniform but others in plain clothes. One of the boats was released, but three of them, including twenty-nine crew, remained in custody. The North Koreans have demanded a ransom of RMB1.2 million (US$190,000). Owners of the boats have asked the Chinese government for help.

The Office of Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman said on May 16 that according to the information available so far, the seizure of fishing boats must be a fishing incident. The Chinese side is further verifying the information and keeping close contacts with the North Korean side and will strive to enable the issue to be satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible in order to ensure Chinese citizen’s safety and lawful rights.

According to Yang Hongbin, one of the owners of the boats, at that time their fleet was fishing at 123057’E in the Chinese side to the west of the border line 1240E. Two North Korean boats with “No. 189” and “28th Department” marked in Korean suddenly crossed the borderline and seized the four fishing boats. As the Koreans were armed with guns, the fishermen did not dare to resist.

The next day, Zhang Dechang, one of the boat owners received a phone call from the captain of his boat. The number displayed on the phone proved that it was a satellite phone provided by the Koreans. Zhang told the reporter that the Koreans said that they would not release the boats unless the Chinese owners had paid the ransom of RMB400,000 (US$63.300) per boat. They provided relevant boat owners with a Chinese mobile phone number for the Chinese to make contact for payment of the ransom. After that an unidentified person kept on calling the boat owners by mobile phone, but each time with a different phone number. He told the owners that there was room for bargaining with regard to the amount of the ransom.

Since the incident occurred, the boat owners have reported to Dandong Marine Police and contacted Liaoning provincial departments of fishery and external affairs, the headquarters of Shenyang Armed Police, etc. Sources say that each fishing boat has been provided with Beidou GPS service with on-line connection to the government surveillance department. It will be notified as soon as it is found to have crossed the border.

According to marine police’s initial analysis of the information, none of the three boats has crossed the border at the time of the incident. However, as the boats have already been brought into Korean territory, whether the boats had crossed border depends on their position at the moment of contact between their boats and the Korean boats. If at that moment, Chinese boats were still located to the west of the marine border, it shall be determined that the Chinese boats were in Chinese territory at the time of the incident. Verification is still under way. The reporter has not been able to contact N. Korean embassy in China to know its opinion.

The captain said that his crew of 10 were locked in a cabin of 4 square meters unable to rest and supplied with poor inadequate food.

On May 13, Zhang, one of the boat owners, received a phone call from the captain telling him that the ransom had been reduced to RMB300,000 (US$47,470) and that very day was set as the deadline for the payment. The boat owner had to go in person to Dandong Fishing Port to look for a person named Song to make the payment.

The last time he was contacted by the captain was on May 15. The captain passed him the Koreans’ demand saying that payment of the ransom should be made in two days. Otherwise the Koreans would dispose of the boat along with its crew. Zhang said, “What did they mean by the word ‘dispose’? There are lots of ways of disposal. It worries us so much.” At present, the boat owners’ greatest worry is the crews’ safety. The relatives of the crews are pressing the owners for their release. The owners’ second worry is their economic loss. Under normal conditions of operation, they suffer a loss of RMB20,000 to 30,000 (US$3,165 to 4,747) gross profit per boat per day

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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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