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China dispatches escort fleet to Somali waters

Updated: Dec 2,2014 3:19 PM     Xinhua

QINGDAO — The 19th Chinese naval squadron left Qingdao, a coastal city in East China’s Shandong province, on Dec 2, and is set to take part in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.

The fleet, sent by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, comprises of missile frigates Linyi and Weifang, as well as supply ship Weishanhu, with two helicopters and more than 700 troops.

It will replace the 18th escort fleet currently conducting similar missions in the area. It is the first time the two frigates will undertake the job.

China sent its first convoy fleet to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters in December 2008. The previous 18 fleets have escorted more than 5,800 Chinese and foreign vessels and successfully rescued or aided more than 60 ships.