Skip to main content

Anti-piracy mission helps China develop its blue-water navy TIMES



China’s 27th and 28th naval escort task forces have recently completed their mission handover in the Gulf of Aden. Anti-piracy operations by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) have become a constant in the area. And this has both immediate and long-term strategic implications for Beijing’s military projection away from its traditional perimeter of action in East Asia.

China started patrolling waters off the Horn of Africa and the Somali coast in 2008, marking the return of a robust Chinese navy in the western Indian Ocean after nearly 600 years. These counter-piracy activities have boosted the PLAN’s ability to deploy in the “far seas.” Beijing is eager to improve expeditionary capabilities of its naval forces. It has made clear it is ready to protect its increasing overseas interests and rights, particularly international routes vital to Chinese trade and energy needs.

The dailyReport

Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox

A stable presence in the Indian Ocean

The European Union’s anti-piracy mission in the Arabian Sea reports that at the peak of Somali piracy in January 2011, pirates held 736 hostages and 32 vessels. After efforts by the international community, those figures were cut to zero in 2016. The PLAN played a significant role in this multilateral action coordinated by the United Nations.

Since the beginning of its anti-piracy operation, the PLAN has escorted more than 6,400 Chinese and foreign ships, according to China Military, the PLA’s official English-language website. What’s more, the Chinese navy has so far prevented about 3,000 suspected pirate boats from launching attacks, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a report last October.

A Chinese naval task force in the Gulf of Aden generally consists of two guided-missile frigates and a supply ship. These are supported by two ship-based helicopters and 700 troops, including dozens of Special Operations forces. To make a comparison, the EU-led naval mission in the region normally comprises about 1,200 personnel, four to six surface combat vessels, a replenishment ship, some embarked helicopters and two to three maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.

The PLAN’s anti-piracy operations can now rely on China’s first overseas military base. Beijing says the Djibouti outpost is only a logistics station. It will have to support its escort, peacekeeping and humanitarian activities in Africa and Western Asia.

Djibouti is a tiny nation in the Horn of Africa. Located at the entrance of the Red Sea, it serves as a gateway between the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal. This area is a key segment of China’s Maritime Silk Road, the sea-based leg of President Xi Jinping’s infrastructure plan to integrate East Asia with Europe and Africa.

Djibouti is located between the Gulf of Adan and the Red Sea. Photo: Getty Images

China also has a logistics support base in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Indeed, the PLAN uses the supply ship engaged in the escort operations in the Gulf of Aden as a mobile supply point for other Chinese warships sailing through this body of water. Such a logistical mode was initiated last July when the Chinese supply ship Gaoyouhu, included in the 26th convoy fleet, refueled the destroyer Hefei and the frigate Yuncheng on their way to the Baltic Sea to conduct military exercises with the Russian Navy.

Training expeditionary capabilities

While peacekeeping operations in Africa and elsewhere are an invaluable training experience for Chinese ground troops, escort missions in the western section of the Indian Ocean are fundamental to develop the PLAN’s expeditionary capacities, notably if China organizes its naval units as carrier strike groups in the future.

As well, the PLAN’s voyages to the Gulf of Aden are conducive to honing the skills of embryonic Chinese battle groups in reaching the Indian Ocean through the Makassar, Sunda and Lombok straits, which could be safer and more suitable for the transit of large warships than the Malacca chokepoint during a conflict or a crisis threatening China’s sea lines of communication – a scenario that would likely see Beijing face an enemy blockade of these passages.

However, for the creation of a powerful expeditionary naval force to succeed, China will also have to improve long-range airpower in support of its ocean-going task forces, set up an underwater surveillance network in the Indo-Pacific region like that run by the United States, and increase the number of overseas bases and access points in East Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia.


The development of the Xian H-20 stealth long-range bomber and the expanding use of an underwater glider for deep-sea explorations in the Indian Ocean, along with the focus on Gwadar, Pakistan, as a possible site for its second offshore naval facility, prove that Beijing is leaving nothing to chance in building its blue-water navy


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…