Chinese Set Sail to Join Fight Against Piracy

First time warships have left home waters in centuries
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 26, 2008 6:29 AM CST
China Navy destroyers the Haikou and the Wuhan and supply ship the Weishanhu, right, are moored at port before leaving for the Navy's first oversea operation from Sanya, Friday, Dec. 26, 2008.    (AP Photo/Color China Photo)
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(Newser) – Chinese warships are leaving home waters today for the first time in centuries, heading to the Gulf of Aden on an anti-piracy mission, CNN reports. Two destroyers and a supply ship are setting out to protect Chinese vessels in response to soaring pirate attacks off Somalia. The warships will join a multinational naval group patrolling the Gulf. The mission will last as long as it’s needed, China says.

“This demonstrates that the Chinese government is committed to the international community and a responsible player and a major country in the world,” says a Chinese rear admiral.