Chinese naval escort task force calls at Singapore port

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Two Chinese Navy ships called at Singapore's Changi port on Thursday on their way back to China from an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somali.

Chinese Navy ship "Harbin" missile destroyer arrives at the dock of Singapore's Changi Naval Base, Sept. 5, 2013. The 14th Chinese Navy Escort Fleet, which is composed of "Harbin" missile destroyer, "Mianyang" missile frigate and "Weishan Lake" supply ship, arrived in Singapore Thursday for re-supply on its way home after 6-month escort missions in the Gulf of Aden. [Then Chih Wey/Xinhua]

The arrived "Harbin" missile destroyer and "Mianyang" missile frigate, together with the "Weishan Lake" comprehensive supply ship coming here on Friday, formed the 14th Chinese Navy Escort Fleet, which guarded commercial ships in the troubled waters against pirates for over six months.

During their five-day call in Singapore, they are scheduled to have some exchanges and joint exercise with the Republic of Singapore Navy. Besides, they will also replenish fuel, water and other logistic supplies here, officials said. It is the Chinese Navy Escort Fleet's fifth friendly visits to Singapore.

The Chinese sailors were received at the port in Changi Naval Base on Thursday morning by representatives from Singapore Navy, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Duan Jielong and other Chinese diplomats, as well as representatives of Chinese companies and the Chinese community in Singapore.

Yuan Yubai, commander of the Chinese flotilla, said the task force left China's Qingdao in February. In March, the flotilla joined the "Peace-13" multinational maritime joint military exercise in Pakistan, and later it took over the escort task from the 13th Chinese Navy Escort Fleet.

It also made port calls in Saipan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti for friendly visits.

The Chinese flotilla escorted 181 commercial vessels, including both Chinese and foreign ships, during over six months of the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somali.

The Chinese Navy ships will leave Singapore on Monday. 

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