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HK, Macao, Taiwan ships protected by Chinese navy
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Ships from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan can request the escort services of the Chinese mainland's navy fleet in Somalian waters, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are all part of China. The Chinese government attached high importance to the safety of overseas Chinese, and the escort flotilla in Somalian waters will also protect ships from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Qin said.

The Chinese navy has sent two destroyers and one supply ship to the Gulf of Aden, joining the multinational patrol in the sea lanes where piracy endangers international shipping.

The Chinese Ministry of Transport started accepting escort requisitions of Chinese ships from Tuesday, and 15 merchant ships have applied for escort from January 6 to 10.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2009)

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