Chinese naval fleet returns from escort mission

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GUANGZHOU, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese naval fleet has returned to the southern city of Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province after completing its mission of escorting civilian vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, and evacuating Chinese personnel from Sudan.

The 43rd fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, comprising the guided-missile destroyer Nanning, the guided-missile frigate Sanya, and the comprehensive supply ship Weishanhu, escorted 21 Chinese and foreign ships during the mission.

During the evacuation of Chinese personnel in Sudan, the guided-missile destroyer Nanning and the comprehensive supply ship Weishanhu successfully transferred more than 1,000 Chinese and foreign people.

The escort squad had traveled about 120,000 nautical miles during its 232-day voyage and had visited Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

In December 2008, China began dispatching naval ships to carry out vessel protection operations in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia. Enditem

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