PLA Navy's routine escort operations not related to regional situation: spokesperson

2024-03-01 08:21:35Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's routine escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia are a practice of implementing the China-proposed Global Security Initiative, and are not related to the current situation in the region, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.

Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks at a regular press conference in response to foreign media reports claiming that the PLA Navy had started to provide escort to Chinese freighters in the Red Sea.

According to publicly available information, the operation areas of the PLA Navy's escort task forces included the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea even before the current instability in the region.

An example of this was the mission to evacuate Chinese personnel from Sudan to Saudi Arabia in April 2023 by the PLA Navy's 43rd escort task force, which took place in the Red Sea, observers said.

The Red Sea waters are an important trade route for international goods and energy, and safeguarding peace and stability is in line with the common interests of the international community, Zhang said.

China consistently advocates the safeguarding of international sea lanes and opposes attacks on civilian vessels, Zhang said.

China will continue to implement the Global Security Initiative, safeguard international sea lanes, provide safe and reliable escorts to Chinese and foreign vessels, and make a positive contribution to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind through concrete actions, the spokesperson said.

In a latest move, the PLA Navy's 46th escort task force departed from Zhanjiang, South China's Guangdong Province on February 21. It will replace the 45th escort task force's escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, the PLA Navy South Sea Fleet said in a press release at the time.

The new task force includes the Type 052D guided missile destroyer Jiaozuo, the Type 054A missile frigate Xuchang, and the Type 903A comprehensive replenishment vessel Honghu, with over 700 crew members including dozens of special forces personnel and two helicopters onboard, according to the press release.

Zhang Junshe, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday that the PLA Navy's escort missions are not related to the current situation in the region or so-called major power competition.

Escort operations fit not only China's national interests, but also the common interests of the international community, as China also fulfills its international responsibilities and obligations, the expert said, noting that when foreign vessels request it, the PLA Navy will also provide escort to them.

By the end of 2023, the PLA Navy had escorted more than 7,200 vessels in the region in more than 1,600 missions, with more than 50 percent of escorted ships being foreign vessels, China Central Television reported in December 2023.

Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2024 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]