BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The second fleet of Chinese escort ships set
sail for the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters Thursday to replace a flotilla sent
there earlier for escorting missions through pirate infested waters.
The Liberation Army Daily published an exclusive interview with the
commander of the mission, Rear-Admiral Yao Zhilou.
The first Chinese fleet to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters escorted more
than 100 ships and successfully rescued three foreign merchant ships. According
to Yao, although these are remarkable achievements, piracy in this region
The second fleet will continue with the original mission. The destroyer
Shenzhen and the frigate Huangshan, together with the supply ship Weishanhu of
the first fleet, will guard Chinese ships sailing through the region. They will
also escort international vessels on humanitarian missions. Upon request, the
Chinese navy will also offer aid to ships from other countries.
The second fleet expects to encounter more difficulties than the first, Yao
said. The collusion between gangs of pirates, the increasing employment of
violence and heavy weapons and changes in pirate attack strategies have made the
escort missions more dangerous.
The second fleet will also run into the seasonal bad weather in that area,
including the strong winds, storms and high temperatures.
Yao said that the soldiers have received special training to prepare for
and adapt to adverse conditions.
There are more than 40 vessels from 15 countries escorting in this region.
The second Chinese fleet will carry out positive cooperation such as information
exchanges and friendly visits with escorting vessels from other