Nine freed hostages arrive in China
Nine of the 10 Chinese sailors released from captivity by Somali pirates arrived in Guangzhou on Tuesday morning, looking exhausted but happy.
The group, including eight from the Chinese mainlandan done from Taiwan, were on their way back to their hometowns, according to China Central Television.
“We got very excited as soon as the pirates released us. This equals a rebirth,” said a sailor surnamed Fan, from Sichuan province.
The sailors are expected to need time to recover from ailments like malnourishment as well as from the ordeal of captivity. They took a picture in the airport with a banner reading: “The home country welcomes you back.”
Yang Hsiu-hui, the wife of Shen Jui-chang from Taiwan, said she felt “very happy” to learn her husband was returning. She traveled to Guangzhou to pick him up.
Yang said that when she learned years ago that her husband had been kidnapped, she hugged her two daughters and cried, and the children would cry when they saw a photo of their father.
Yang thanked the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits for their help.
Reports say the couple will return to Taiwan on Wednesday.
A total of 26 sailors, including the 10 Chinese, were released by Somali pirates on Saturday and arrived in Kenya on Sunday.
One Chinese sailor remained in Kenya for medical treatment, and will return to China after his condition improves, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a daily news conference on Tuesday.
The pirates originally captured 29 sailors, including 12 Chinese, when they hijacked the Oman iflagged fishing vessel Naham 3 in March 2012. Three sailors died — including one from the mainland and one from Taiwan. One was killed during the hijacking and two died from illnesses.