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China says warships' patrolling Somali coasts helps world peace
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20:13, December 23, 2008

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China on Tuesday hailed its decision to send warships to patrol off the Somali coast as "a move to safeguard world peace and stability."

Two Chinese destroyers and a support vessel will depart from Sanya in south China's island province of Hainan Friday to join international fleets of warships to protect civilian ships off the east African nation's coast.

This marks the first time Chinese warships have patrolled outside of Chinese waters.

"The move signifies that China is taking concrete actions to ensure world peace and stability, and practice the people-first foreign policy," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said during the regular briefing.

In accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, Qin said Chinese warships' tasks were to protect the safety of Chinese ships and crews as well as ships carrying humanitarian relief materials for international organizations.

Seven ships, either owned by China or carrying Chinese crew or cargoes, have been attacked by pirates off the Somalia coast this year.

Last Wednesday, the crew of a Chinese cargo ship fought off pirates in the Gulf of Aden with the help of international forces.

"China's decision observes the international laws, the UN resolutions and the demands of the Somali's transitional government," Qin said.

The spokesman stressed that China will adhere to the path of the peaceful development and practice a non-aggressive defense policy.

"Looking to the future, China's diplomacy and military will continue to contribute to world and regional peace and stability."

Source: Xinhua

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