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2 PLA Navy ships of escort mission make port call to Hong Kong

(Xinhua)

08:18, May 02, 2012

Donald Tsang (3rd L), chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, visits missile destroyer Haikou of naval escort taskforce 171 of the Chinese Navy at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong, south China, April 30, 2012. Missile destroyer Haikou and missile frigate Yuncheng, warships of naval escort taskforce 171 which are scheduled to make a port call in Hong Kong from April 30 to May 4, will be open to the public as part of the celebrations for the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. (Xinhua/Zhao Yusi)

HONG KONG, April 30 (Xinhua) -- A missile destroyer and a frigate with Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, which were returning home from a months-long escort mission from the Gulf of Aden, made a port call to Hong Kong on Monday.

The two radar-evading hulled ships were DDG-171 Haikou and FFG- 571 Yuncheng. They had been on an escorting mission against pirates in Somalia waters and the Gulf of Aden since November of 2011, along with the supply ship Qinghaihu.

In more than five months, the two ships escorted some 240 vessels to protect them from pirate attacks in Somali waters, of which 34 vessels came from Hong Kong.

It was the second time that the PLA Navy's escorting-mission ships made a port call to Hong Kong since China began deploying naval ships for the escorting mission in December 2008. The first port call took place in December 2009.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, led by Chief Executive Donald Tsang, hosted a welcoming ceremony at the port.

Wang Zhaohai, deputy Political Commissar of the PLA Navy who came to Hong Kong for the port visit, said the PLA Navy ships have so far escorted more than 4,600 vessels since December 2008 to protect them from pirate attacks, of which 902 vessels were from Hong Kong.

The DDG-171 and FFG-571 would be opened for public for three consecutive days until May 3, allowing 6,000 Hong Kong residents with the ticket to visit the two ships.

They will leave Hong Kong waters on May 4.

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