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Chinese naval frigate comes to escort released Filipino tanker

AT the request of the Philippines, a Chinese naval frigate came to escort a Philippine-flagged chemical tanker which has just been released from pirates in Somali waters, according to the press office of China's Ministry of National Defense today.

The Chinese frigate FFG-570 Huangshan, which was on escorting commission in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, came to the Hobiya waters last night to escort the 32,400-ton Philippine merchant ship which was just released from Somali pirates, and provide it with supplies including food and medicine.

The released Philippine-flagged chemical tanker MT Stolt Strength, with 23 Filipio sailors on board, is on its way to safe seas under the escort of the Chinese naval frigate, according to sources with the Ministry of National Defense.

The frigate FFG-570 Huangshan was among the second fleet of Chinese escort ships which has been sent to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters earaly April for escorting missions through pirate infested waters.

China sent two destroyers and one supply ship last December to conduct a historic escort mission to protect Chinese merchant vessels, as well as those from other parts of the world sailing through the region.

UN Security Council Resolution 1851, adopted on last December 16, authorized countries to appeal to military forces in the narrow Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast for a 12-month period.

The Chinese navy fleet escorting activity demonstrates a responsible role of China in undertaking international obligations, and the devotion of China's People's Liberation Army to safeguard peace and security in the region and world. It has also played an active role in safeguarding security of Chinese and international vessels and crews through pirate infested waters, according to the sources.

Statistics from the Ministry of Transport shows that Chinese warships have escorted 130 vessels and rescued three foreign merchant ships from pirate attacks as of early April. Annually about 1,000 Chinese merchant vessels pass through the Gulf.


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