"The twenty-sixth of December 2012 marked an important date in Chinese military history--the fourth anniversary of China's furthest and most extensive naval operations to date, the ongoing antipiracy deployments in the Gulf of Aden. In the first-ever simultaneous three-fleet public display, China's North Sea Fleet, East Sea Fleet, and South Sea Fleet all held 'open day activities.' […] Over the past four years, the People's Liberation Army Navy [PLAN] has deployed nearly ten thousand personnel on thirty-seven warships with twenty-eight helicopters in thirteen task forces. Over the course of more than five hundred operations, these forces have protected more than five thousand commercial vessels--Chinese and foreign in nearly equal proportion, the latter flagged by more than fifty nations. They have 'successfully met and escorted, rescued and salvaged over 60 ships.' Ships saved from pirates by PLAN ships include four transports loaded with World Food Programme cargo. Beijing has rightly been recognized for this contribution: 'The escort in the Gulf of Aden provided by the Chinese naval task force is a strong support in cracking down [on] Somali piracies [sic] for the international community' Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), has been quoted as declaring, 'which reflects China's important role in international affairs.' In a new era of international interaction, the PLAN has cooperated with counterpart vessels from over twenty foreign countries 'to exchange information regarding piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali sea area.'"
China Maritime Studies No. 10
U.S. Naval War College: http://www.usnwc.edu/