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12th Chinese naval escort taskforce sets sail

By Cheng Bijie and Hou Rui  (PLA Daily)

08:39, July 05, 2012

The 12th escort taskforce under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) left a naval port in Zhoushan City of east China's Zhejiang Province on the morning of July 3, 2012 for the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast to take over the escort mission from the 11th Chinese naval escort taskforce.

Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the PLA Navy, attended the farewell ceremony.

Since the first escort taskforce carried out the escort mission, the Chinese naval escort taskforces have safely escorted over 4,700 Chinese and foreign ships passing through the waters of the Gulf of Aden and succeeded in rescuing and escorting more than 50 ships hijacked and attacked by pirates, becoming an important international anti-piracy force in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast.

Zhou Xuming, commander of the 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce and deputy chief of staff of the East China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, and Zhai Yongyuan, political commissar of the escort taskforce and political commissar of a destroyer flotilla, led the taskforce to slowly sail out of the naval port at 09:50 of July 3.

The 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce is composed of the "Yiyang" guided missile frigate, the "Changzhou" guided missile frigate and the "Qiandao Lake" comprehensive supply ship, with two ship-borne helicopters, dozens of special operation members and nearly 800 officers and men aboard.

Personnel from related departments including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Ministry of Transport of the PRC, Su Zhiqian, commander of the East China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, Ding Haichun, political commissar of the East China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, and relatives of some officers and men saw the 12th Chinese naval escort taskforce off at the pier.

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