Navy ensures navigation in a sea of danger

Updated: 2011-12-26 09:19

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

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Gary Li, who analyzes Chinese military affairs at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, told China Daily earlier that the country's involvement showed that "China is a major responsible power willing to cooperate multilaterally".

"The mere fact that China has a multiyear naval presence in the Gulf of Aden has great symbolic and diplomatic significance," Frans-Paul van der Putten, senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, told Agence France-Presse last week.

Deep-water lure

On another track, the mission is a real test for the Chinese navy, which is accustomed to training off its own coast, said Yin, the retired rear admiral.

"China has stuck to a defensive national defense policy, so it cannot forge its troops in real combat as some countries do. Hence the long-distance sailing and escorts present a precious chance."

It has been a dream of generations of the Chinese navy to transit from a near-sea navy to a blue-water one, Zhang said in his website article. "The tasks at the Gulf of Aden have served as enlightenment, both spiritually and physically, for a military that has stayed long in a peaceful age."

An article in the PLA Daily, the army's official newspaper, on Dec 5 said a stride from the offshore to the far seas has become the navy's central task.

The maturing of the Chinese navy does not mean it will pose a threat to the world, Yin said. "On the contrary, it will serve as a balancing power to maritime hegemony and forces hampering international security.

"People can tell from the facts by themselves," Yin said. "What the Chinese escort fleets have done at the Gulf of Aden is a testimony to that."

Zhao Shengnan contributed. Write to the reporter at


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