Chinese naval fleet returns from escort mission

Updated 2017-07-14 10:31:44 Xinhua

After a 208-day sail, covering nearly 120,000 nautical miles, a Chinese fleet wrapped up its escort mission Wednesday morning.

Anchoring at a military port in Zhanjiang, southern China's Guangdong Province, the 25th convey fleet was sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, the PLA Daily reported Thursday.

The fleet is composed of two missile frigates, a supply ship, two ship-borne helicopters, dozens of special combat soldiers and more than 700 seamen and officers.

During the mission, it escorted a total of 62 Chinese and foreign ships and rescued two ships, which were being chased and attacked. The fleet also discovered and expelled 82 suspicious vessels.

The fleet also made friendly visits to Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu, according to the PLA Daily.

China sent its first escort squad to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters in Dec. 2008 in order to protect passing ships against pirate attacks, safeguard sea lane security and maintain freedom of navigation along waterways.

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