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China Navy kicks off visit to Algeria


08:59, April 03, 2013

ALGIERS, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The 13th Escort Taskforce of the Chinese Navy arrived Tuesday in Algiers, capital of Algeria, beginning a four-day visit to the country.

The visit by the escort taskforce, composed of two frigates and one supply ship, is the first of its kind made to the nation by a Chinese naval fleet, said Li Xiaoyan, commander of the escort taskforce.

During the visit, Rear Admiral Li will meet with Commander of the Algerian Navy Malek Necib and other Algerian navy officers, and introduce the Chinese Navy's anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

The Algerian military will organize a delegation to visit the Chinese fleet. Some cultural and sport activities, including a basketball game and a deck reception, are planned to be held during the visit.

The 13th Escort Taskforce has undertaken China's convoy tasks for a four-month period in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia before it departed the region on March 18 for nation-visiting tasks.

Algeria is the second leg of the fleet's nation-visiting agenda. The fleet visited Malta on March 26-30, and will later visit Morocco, Portugal and France.

Chinese warships have undertaken anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia since December 2008. To date, the Chinese Navy has succeeded in escorting more than 5,000 merchant ships.

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