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PLA Navy calls for more cooperation against piracy

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

08:47, February 24, 2012

NANJING - International naval cooperation has to be strengthened to effectively tackle piracy, Chinese and overseas naval officials said on Thursday.

Vice-Admiral Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the People's Liberation Army Navy, told the International Counter-Piracy & Escort Operation Symposium that piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia had, thanks to the efforts of the international community, largely been contained.

However, he added that there is still a long way to go before piracy could be eradicated.

"In this era of globalization, when ocean shipping is more closely related to our lives than ever before, jointly safeguarding navigation is in the best interests of all of us," he said.

Eighty-four representatives from 20 countries and four international organizations including NATO, the European Union, the Baltic and International Maritime Conference, and the coalition of maritime forces attended the two-day symposium.

China has provided its detailed escort schedule to the related countries for reference in order to improve the efficiency of naval escorts, Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a news conference on Thursday.

"From this January, China will strengthen coordination with independent escort nations such as India and Japan, and adjust each other's escort schedules," said Geng, adding that China will be the reference for the others in the first quarter of 2012.

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