Kidnapped boat engineer reunited with his family

A Taiwanese sailor held captive since his fishing boat was hijacked by Somali pirates four and a half years ago has been reunited with his family.

Shen Jui-chang arrived in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou early Tuesday morning and was reunited with his wife and daughter. The family is due to return home Wednesday.

Shen was the engineer on a vessel that was hijacked by Somali pirates near the Seychelles on March 27, 2012. The crew were held hostage for nearly five years. It was confirmed Saturday that the release of 26 Asian hostages had been secured after 18 months of negotiations. They included citizens of China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Foreign Ministry official Chen Chun-shen said Tuesday that Taiwan and China as well as other Asian countries all worked to rescue the hostages.

When it comes to humanitarian issues, there are no political concerns or [factors] like nationality. If Chinese citizens living in Taiwan's allied nations need our assistance, we will ask our embassies to offer them assistance. Our stance is clear. There are no political [considerations] when it comes to humanitarian issues, said Chen.

Source: Radio Taiwan International