HO CHI MINH CITY, Vitenam, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese navy ships returning from counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden have docked at south Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, kicking off a five-day good-will visit on Monday.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ships belonging to the 12nd Escort Task Group were warmly received by representatives from Vietanmese army and government, the Chinese embassy in Vietnam and consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City as well as local Chinese institutions and companies.
The escort task group is composed of missile frigates CNS Yi Yang and CNS Chang Zhou and comprehensive replenishment ship CNS Qian Dao Hu. The fleet, led by Rear Admiral Zhou Ximing and joined by over 790 PLA Navy officers and men, had left China in July, 2012, and visited Sydney of Australia in December after fulfilling the escort mission.
Zhou Ximing, on behalf of the escort task group, briefed Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou and other visitors to the ships on their counter-piracy and excort mission.
According to the schedule, the Chinese PLA Navy visiting group will hold various activities jointly with their Vietnamese counterparts, as to increase bilateral communication and understanding, while Zhou Ximing and his commanding team are to visit and hold talks with Vietnamese government and senior military officials including Rear Admiral Pham Van Hong, Deputy Staff Chief of Vietnamese Navy.
Navy fleets escorting commercial vessels in the Indian Ocean have successfully accomplished their international missions over the last four years, the PLA Naval Headquarters has said on Dec. 25, 2012.
Chinese Navy has increased its ability to conduct off-shore military maneuvers, with a total of 34 warships, 28 helicopters and over 10,000 officers and sailors participating in ocean-going missions since Dec. 26, 2008, when Chinese navy ships began conducting escort missions in the Indian Ocean. Since then, they have escorted over 5,000 Chinese and foreign civilian vessels, half of which belonged to foreign owners including Vietnamese.
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