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Chinese navy fleet returns from escort missions, joint exercises

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A Chinese navy fleet returned to a military port in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on Friday after completing escort missions and joint exercises.

Setting off on September 12, 2023 from Qingdao, the 45th fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy traveled over 50,000 nautical miles during its 249-day voyage, escorting 72 Chinese and foreign ships during the missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

Comprising the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the missile frigate Linyi, and the comprehensive replenishment vessel Dongpinghu, it visited Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Seychelles, and took part in a joint maritime exercise with the Pakistani navy and another with Iranian and Russian navies. It also made a technical stop in Malaysia.

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

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