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Chinese Navy escort voyages fruitful


08:39, December 26, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Navy fleets escorting commercial vessels in the Indian Ocean have successfully accomplished their international missions over the last four years, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Naval Headquarters said Tuesday.

The navy has increased its ability to conduct off-shore military maneuvers, with a total of 34 warships 28 helicopters and over 10,000 officers and sailors participating in ocean-going missions since Dec. 26, 2008, when Chinese Navy vessels began conducting escort missions in the Indian Ocean, the headquarters said.

Since then, Chinese Navy ships have escorted over 5,000 Chinese and foreign civilian vessels, half of which belonged to foreign owners, the headquarters said.

Over 60 vessels, including four transport ships loaded with World Food Program (WFP) cargo, have been saved from pirates by Chinese Navy ships. About 60 percent of the business vessels escorted by Chinese warships had ties to China's international trade, the headquarters said.

While conducting the missions, the navy established ties with warships from over 20 foreign countries to exchange information regarding piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali sea area, the headquarters said.

The missions have been a good opportunity for the Chinese Navy to carry out drills and training, occasionally in cooperation with foreign navies, the headquarters said.

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