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Chinese fleet completes first at-sea replenishment
Updated: 2008-12-31 16:51

DESTROYER WUHAN - A Chinese naval fleet en route to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia for an escort mission against pirates completed its first replenishment at sea Tuesday.

Chinese navy's supply ship Weishanhu and a missile destroyer run neck and neck during the fleet's first at-sea replenishment on voyage to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia for an escort mission against pirates, December 30, 2008. [Wang Hui/]
The fleet, two destroyers and a supply ship, has entered the Indian Ocean after a four-day voyage which set sail from China's southernmost island province of Hainan.

In the afternoon, the supply ship Weishanhu successfully refueled the two destroyers Wuhan and Haikou with several hundred tons of oil, an operation that an official for fleet support described as "highly efficient."

The fleet will cruise for about 10 days before arriving in the Gulf of Aden to join a multinational patrol in one of the world's busiest sea lanes endangered by surging piracy.

The recent pirate attack on a Chinese fishing vessel has raised great concern of the Chinese government and people. Statistics showed that some 1,265 Chinese commercial vessels have passed through the gulf so far this year and seven have been attacked.

The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions calling on all countries and regions to help patrol the gulf and waters off Somalia since June. The latest resolution authorized countries to take all necessary measures in Somalia, including in its airspace to stop the pirates.


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