Chinese naval escort taskforce berths in Singapore
(Source: PLA Daily) 2010-09-06
Diplomats of the Chinese Embassy to Singapore, overseas Chinese and students welcome the arrival of the fifth Chinese naval escort flotilla at Changi port of Singapore, Sept. 5, 2010. Two Chinese naval warships, destroyer Guangzhou and frigate Chaohu, part of the fifth Chinese naval escort flotilla, stopped over at Changi port of Singapore on Sunday. (Xinhua/Gao Chuan)
The visiting warship formation consisting of the “Guangzhou” warship and the “Chaohu” warship of the 5th Chinese naval escort taskforce berthed in the Changi Port, Singapore on September 5 on its homeward way after concluding the good-will visit to Egypt, Italy, Greece and Myanmar.
The purpose for this berth in Singapore is to replenish the fuel, water and logistics materials. At the same time, the Chinese naval escort taskforce will also conduct exchange of escort information and stage joint maritime drills with the Singapore navy.
During the escort period in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, the 5th Chinese naval escort taskforce offered escort service to 15 Singaporean merchant ships. The “Chaohu” warship ever successfully picked up and escorted the Singaporean merchant ship “Pami” which was hijacked by the pirates on February 27.
By Zhang Qi and Cao Haihua
From The Chinese Navy’s Emerging Support Network in the Indian Ocean in the latest issue of the Jamestown Foundation's China Brief (Here)
Singapore – In all of the speculation about future Chinese facilities in the Indian Ocean, Singapore has been largely ignored by pundits and military analysts. This is somewhat puzzling given Singapore’s friendly relations with Beijing and its strategic position in the Strait of Malacca, which Chinese strategists consider a critical gateway to the Indian Ocean. PLAN vessels have made four port calls to Changi Naval Base, including the May 2007 participation of a PLAN frigate in the multilateral exercise IMDEX-07 and a December 2009 visit by FFG-529 during its transit home from patrol duty in the Gulf of Aden (China Military Online, May 24, 2007; PRC Ministry of National Defense, December 8, 2009). Beijing also signed a defense agreement between China and Singapore in January 2008 that calls for increases in exchanges, educational opportunities and port calls and in July 2010, China’s defense minister pledged to further the development of military relations between China and Singapore (The Straits Times Online, January 8, 2008; Xinhua News Agency, July 14).