A Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship from the South China Sea Fleet set off from Sanya, a coastal city of South China’s Hainan Province on Friday, December 26, 2008. Xinhua photo
China is considering setting up a permanent naval base in the Gulf of Aden to support its regional anti-piracy mission.
In an interview posted on the defense ministry website, a top Chinese naval official said on Wednesday that such a base would allow the country to better support its vessels.
“We are saying to fulfill our international commitments. We need to strengthen our supply capacity,” said Admiral Yin Zhuo, who is also a senior researcher.
He added that it would also strengthen its contribution to the anti-piracy mission.
Chinese vessels can currently only dock and re-supply at a French naval base in the Gulf of Aden, while the US, EU and Japan all have supply bases in the region.
China has deployed four warship in the pirate-infested waters off Somalia since late 2008.