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U.S. military positive on China's naval escort plan
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15:50, December 19, 2008

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The U.S. military has responded positively to China's proposed plan to deploy naval ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somalia coast to fight pirates, a high-ranking military officer said Thursday.

Crew of the ship "Zhenhua 4" fought against the pirates armed with rocket launchers and heavy machine guns.(Xinhua Photo)

"I hope the Chinese do (send ships to the Gulf of Aden) and we'll work closely with them," Timothy Keating, chief of the Pacific Command, told reporters during a briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington.

He said the international fight against pirates will provide new opportunities to enhance cooperation and coordination between the U.S. and Chinese militaries.

The U.S. military is willing to provide related information for the Chinese military once China enacts its plan, Keating added.

China's Foreign Ministry said earlier Thursday that the country was considering sending warships to fight pirates off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

The remarks came the day after a Chinese commercial vessel was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

According to China's Foreign Ministry, 20 percent of Chinese ships passing through the waters off the Somalia coast have been attacked by pirates from January to November this year.

Source: Xinhua

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