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Another Chinese flotilla begins escort mission

2009-10-30 13:33 BJT

Special Report: China navy escorting mission |

Another Chinese flotilla is on its way to the Gulf of Aden to escort merchant vessels and protect them from pirate attacks. 

The flotilla will be the fourth task force China has deployed to the region since the end of last year. The missile frigates "Ma'anshan" and "Wenzhou" will replace two navy vessels from the PLA Navy's third flotilla, which set sail to waters off Somalia in June. They will join the supply ship "Qiandaohu", which has been on duty for about three months. 

The PLA says it's sending a crew of more than 700, including a unit of special forces, and two ship-borne helicopters.  The ships are to take part in international humanitarian rescue missions and conduct friendly exchanges with foreign navies.