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Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (11)


11:22, April 16, 2013

Protecting Overseas Interests

With the gradual integration of China's economy into the world economic system, overseas interests have become an integral component of China's national interests. Security issues are increasingly prominent, involving overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and Chinese nationals and legal persons overseas. Vessel protection at sea, evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas, and emergency rescue have become important ways and means for the PLA to safeguard national interests and fulfill China's international obligations.

In line with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and with the consent of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Chinese government dispatched a combined naval task force to conduct escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia on December 26, 2008. The combined Chinese task forces are mainly charged with safeguarding the security of Chinese ships and personnel traversing those waters and the security of ships delivering humanitarian supplies for the World Food Programme (WFP) and other international organizations, and sheltering passing foreign vessels as far as possible. As of December 2012, the Chinese Navy has dispatched, in 13 task groups, 34 warships, 28 helicopters, and 910 Special Operations Force (SOF) soldiers, escorting 4,984 ships in 532 batches. Among them, 1,510 were Chinese mainland ships, 940 Hong Kong ships, 74 Taiwan ships and one Macao ship. The task forces also rescued two Chinese ships from pirates who had boarded them and 22 which were being chased by pirates.

In February 2011, the turbulent situation in Libya posed grave security threats to Chinese institutions, enterprises and nationals in that country. The Chinese government organized the largest overseas evacuation since the founding of the PRC, and 35,860 Chinese nationals were taken home. The PLA contributed ships and aircraft to the effort. The Chinese Navy' s frigate Xuzhou, on escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia at that time, sailed to the waters off Libya and provided support for ships evacuating Chinese nationals stranded there. The PLAAF sent four aircraft at short notice, flew 40 sorties, evacuated 1,655 people (including 240 Nepalese) from Libya to Sudan, and took 287 Chinese nationals from Sudan back home.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YanMeng、Wang Jinxue)

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