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16th Chinese naval escort taskforce returns

2014-07-22 10:35 China Military Online Web Editor: Li Yan

The 16th escort taskforce under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army successfully arrived at a naval port in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on the morning of July 18, 2014, wrapping up its eight-month-long mission.

Wang Sentai, deputy political commissar of the PLA Navy, expressed his sincere greetings and warm congratulations to all members of the taskforce at the welcome ceremony held by the North China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy.

According to Wang, the 16th Chinese naval escort taskforce was made up of the guided missile frigates "Yancheng" and "Luoyang" and the comprehensive supply ship "Taihu Lake". Since it was sent to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia coast to perform escort missions on November 30 last year, the taskforce has completed 40 escort missions for 132 Chinese and foreign ships, sent 53 special operation members successively to conduct onboard escorting missions for 18 ships, and rescued 1 merchant ship which was attacked by pirates.

Wang stressed that during this period, the taskforce conducted anti-piracy joint exercise with the European Union escort taskforce for the first time. In particular, it received the temporary order and sent its "Yancheng" warship to rush to the Mediterranean Sea to splendidly wrap up the periodic escort mission for Syria's chemical weapons. Moreover, during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, it also received the regards sent by the heads of China and Russia through videos.

Wang added that after completing the escort missions, the officers and men of the taskforce paid consecutive visits to eight African countries for the first time, which has deepened mutual understanding and trust between the PLA Navy and the visited countries.

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