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Arrival of Chinese fleet rattles EU

(Global Times)

08:20, August 02, 2012

(Global Times/ Sun Ying)

Editor's Note:

Recent visits by the Chinese fifth fleet to Mediterranean ports have left some European commentators wondering if this is a sign of China's growing naval influence. Did the ships have plans to link up with the Russian navy? Are such visits a forerunner of wider Chinese intentions? The Global Times invited two experts to comment.

Naval visits accustom Mediterranean to new role

For a brief moment it looked like the Chinese navy was bound to stage a major provocation, not in the maritime margins of East Asia this time, but in the Mediterranean.

No need for nerves over routine goodwill calls

On July 24, ships from the Chinese fifth fleet sailed out of the northern exit of the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. The ships visited the Mediterranean after an anti-piracy patrol off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. It was the first time that a Chinese escort fleet has passed into the Mediterranean.

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