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China's escort fleet to join exercise in Pakistan

(Xinhua)

09:37, February 18, 2013

MISSILE DESTROYER HARBIN, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The 14th Chinese naval squad heading for Somali waters will take part in a multi-national exercise in Pakistan in March, military sources said Sunday.

The "Exercise Aman-13" is scheduled to start in the North Arabian Sea on March 4. Aman is an Urdu word meaning "peace".

The fleet, sent by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy,

departed Saturday from a port in Qingdao of east China's Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters for escort missions.

The 14th convoy fleet comprises three ships -- the missile destroyer Harbin, the frigate Mianyang and the supply ship Weishanhu -- carrying two helicopters and a 730-strong troop, all from the North China Sea Fleet under the PLA Navy.

Since December 2008, authorized by the United Nations, the Chinese navy has organized 14 fleets to the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to escort 5,046 Chinese and foreign ships. More than 50 Chinese and foreign ships have been rescued or assisted during the missions.

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