The 20th fleet from China's navy left east China's port city Zhoushan for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali to escort civil ships.
The fleet is comprised of the missile destroyer Jinan, missile frigate Yiyang and supply ship Qiandaohu. It is equipped with two helicopters and staffed by dozens of special operation soldiers and more than 800 officers and soldiers.
Jinan, commissioned at the end of 2014, is engaging in its first escort mission. This is Qiandaohu's third escort mission.
Du Jingchen, deputy command of China's naval force, said as security situations have changed around the Gulf of Aden, anti-piracy missions are still challenging. Du urged the fleet to pay close attention to piracies and the situation in the area.
Chinese naval forces have carried out escort missions in the area for over six years. During this period it has escorted almost 6,000 Chinese and foreign ships passing the waters.
It also evacuated Chinese nationals from Libya in 2011 during the civil war, supplied fresh water to Maldives in 2014, as well as evacuated Chinese nationals and people from other countries from Yemen this week as conflict in this country is escalating.