Beijing: A Chinese naval fleet heading for piracy-hit Somali waters for escort missions will take part in a multinational exercise in Pakistan in March, official media in Beijing reported. The “Exercise Aman (Peace)-13” is scheduled to start in the North Arabian Sea on 4 March.
According to Pakistan Navy, Exercise Aman-13 is scheduled to be held in North Arabian Sea from 4-8 March. Navies of 50 countries have been invited to participate, according to statement posted on Pakistan Navy’s website.
It is the 4th such exercise of Aman series, which began in 2007. The fleet, sent by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, departed on 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, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chinese navy has sent 14 fleets to the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to escort 5,046 Chinese and foreign ships since the mission was authorized by the United Nations in 2008. More than 50 Chinese and foreign ships have been rescued or assisted during the missions, the report said. PTI