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Chinese navy fleet concludes visit to Portugal

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-20 04:53

LISBON - The 13th Escort Taskforce of the Chinese navy set off to sea Friday from Lisbon, capital of Portugal, after winding up its five-day goodwill visit to the country.

The visit by the Chinese naval fleet has been a success and helped further boost the friendship between the Chinese and Portugese militaries and the two peoples, said Huang Songfu, Chinese ambassador to Portugal.

During the visit, the Chinese warships were open to public visits. Chinese navy officers also visited Portugese warships and exchanged with the Portugese military officers on escort and anti-piracy operations in the waters off Somalia.

Portugal is the fourth leg of the escort taskforce's current visit. The trip also took the fleet to Malta, Algeria and Morocco, and will send them to France, the last stop.

Chinese warships have undertaken anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia since December 2008. To date, the Chinese navy has succeeded in escorting more than 5,000 merchant ships.

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