A fleet membered by two Chinese marine surveillance vessels, Haijian 84 and Haijian 72, set sail for the South China Sea for regular patrol missions aimed at protecting the country’s territorial waters, Xinhua reports citing the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
Accordingly the task force left Guangzhou on Monday.
Haijian-72, is a 1,000 tonne-level ship, built by Wuchang Shipyard in the 1990s, whereas Haijian-84, is a 1,500 tonne-level new block-2 ship. Both vessels are assigned to the South China Sea Corps.
The Chinese Government announced at the beginning of February that daily patrols will be carried out in the south China Sea with an aim of protecting interests of domestic fishermen.
Aside to keeping safe its own waters, Chinese ships have contributed significantly to safe passage of foreign cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden. The effort has been recognized by the international scene, specifically that of NATO Task Force (NTF) 508.
Namely, on February 19, Rear Admiral Li Xiaoyan, commander of the 13th escort task-force of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), met and exchanged views with Italian Rear Admiral Antonio Natale, commander of the NATO Task Force (NTF) 508, China Military Online writes.
During the meeting, held on “Huangshan” guided missile frigate, Natale voiced deep appreciation of the Chinese naval escort task-forces’ contribution and the achievement recorded by the 13th Chinese naval escort task-force in the waters off the Somali coast, an area designated as highly risky due to frequent pirate attacks.
They both agreed that the mutual cooperation in ensuring maritime safety is key for strengthening future relations.
Naval Today Staff, February 21, 2013