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Review of Chinese Navy's escort missions in Gulf of Aden in past 4 years

By Cao Jinping and Mo Xiaoliang (China Military Online)

08:32, December 27, 2012

December 26 of 2012 marks the 4th anniversary of escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast carried out by the taskforces of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

On this day four years ago, the 1st Chinese naval escort taskforce sailed from Sanya of south China's Hainan province to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast 4,400 nautical miles away to conduct escort mission, marking the beginning of rotated and normalized escort of the PLA Navy.

Highlighting China's role as a great power

At the beginning of the escort missions, the Chinese government made a solemn commitment: welcome to join the Chinese naval escort taskforce, which will provide free escort for all foreign ships to join the taskforce.

In the past four years, the PLA Navy has dispatched 13 escort taskforces to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast successively, totaling 34 warships, 28 helicopters and 10,000-odd officers and men. Up to now, the 13 escort taskforces have wrapped up 500-plus escort missions for 5,000-odd Chinese and foreign merchant ships, and successfully met and escorted, rescued and salvaged over 60 ships.

"The escort in the Gulf of Aden provided by the Chinese naval taskforce is a strong support in cracking down Somali piracies for the international community, which reflects China's important role in international affairs," said Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations.

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