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China to continue sending naval escort squads to Somali waters


21:34, November 30, 2011

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng speaks during a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 30, 2011. China on Wednesday called for an objective and rational view towards its military's exercises and training over the past few months. (Xinhua/Wang Yao)

BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to dispatch naval escort squads to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Spokesman Geng Yansheng made the remarks at a monthly press briefing, adding that China will further boost cooperation with international escort missions in accordance with the spirit of the United Nations Security Council.

China sent its first convoy fleet to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters in 2008, and December will mark the country's third year of making great contributions to maintaining national interests and world peace, Geng said.

China has sent 25 fleets, 22 helicopters, 700 special operators, and more than 8,000 officers and soldiers to this area, and has escorted more than 4,300 domestic and foreign vessels to date, Geng said.

China escorted the vessels of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) four times and took care of 50 vessels that had been attacked or released by pirates, Geng added.

"China has complied with its international duties and contributed to stability in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, effectively protecting the security of domestic and foreign vessels and sailors," Geng said.

During the escort missions, Chinese naval flotillas have positively interacted with international missions, communicated with relevant countries and organizations on information, and improved their abilities in implementing multi-military missions, Geng said.

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