23rd Chinese Naval Fleet Left Zhouzhan To Gulf Of Aden
ZHOUSHAN, 8 April 2016
The 23rd Chinese naval escort taskforce set sail from a naval port in Zhouzhan, east China’s Zhejiang Province, on the morning of April 7, for the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somali coast to implement merchant ship escort missions there.
Wang Hai, deputy commander of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), delivered a speech at the seeing-off ceremony held for the taskforce on Thursday morning.
Since 2008, the PLA Navy has constantly dispatched 22 taskforces to implement naval escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast. The 22 escort taskforces have provided escort for 6,139 Chinese and foreign merchant ships in 922 batches. Besides, they have fulfilled various missions successfully including providing escort for the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya and ships transporting Syria’s chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea, offering emergency water supply assistance to Maldives and evacuating Chinese and foreign personnel from conflict-jolted Yemen.
All these operations are conducive to upgrading the PLA Navy’s capabilities of effectively dealing with multiple security threats and performing diverse military missions, Wang Hai noted in his speech.
The 23rd Chinese naval escort taskforce consists of the guided-missile frigates Xiangtan and Zhoushan as well as the comprehensive supply ship Chaohu, which will carry two ship-borne helicopters, more than 700 naval servicepersons including dozens of special troops.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.