According to the newspaper, six Chinese warships, including a guided missile destroyer, have been operating in the Middle East since last week. South China Morning Post (SCMP),
“The fleet of ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy of China has been deployed to carry out escort missions and pay friendly visits to relevant countries” – Ambassador Liu confirmed in a statement carried by the station. Artificial satellite Posted on October 22.
Mr Liu also stressed that “relevant parties need to respect the truth and stop baseless exaggeration”.
Chinese and Omani sailors posing for photographs during the Chinese Navy’s visit to Muscat-Oman. Photo: Eastern Theater
China’s 44th Naval Escort Task Force has participated in a number of activities in the Middle East since May, including joint exercises with the Oman Navy last week, according to information posted on the website of China’s Ministry of National Defense. Chinese media said the unit departed from the Omani capital Muscat on October 21 for an undisclosed location.
During their visit to Oman, Chinese commanders met military officials and toured the country’s military facilities, while sailors from both countries participated in sports activities and cultural exchanges.
China’s fleet includes the Zibo, Type 052D guided missile destroyer, the destroyer Jingzhou and the integrated supply ship Qiandaohu.
The presence of this fleet means that six Chinese ships are operating in the Middle East amid rising tensions in the region.
Chinese naval ships are conducting exercises off the coast of Oman. Photo: Eastern Theater
Shortly after the armed group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, the US sent its most modern aircraft carrier battle group, the USS Gerald R Ford, to the eastern Mediterranean.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group is also moving toward the area. Mid-last week, the Pentagon announced the additional deployment of the command ship USS Mount Whitney to the eastern Mediterranean.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed on October 22 that the Israel–Hamas conflict could escalate due to Iran’s proxy forces. Both also emphasized that President Joe Biden’s administration is ready to respond immediately if American troops or armed forces are targeted.
“We do not want the conflict to escalate. We do not want to see American forces or soldiers being targeted. But if it does, we are prepared to respond,” Secretary Blinken announced. Similarly, Secretary Austin said: “What we are seeing is an increased threat of attack by our forces and civilians throughout the region. The United States has the right to self-defense and we will not hesitate to take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, Chinese media on October 23 quoted Mr Zhai Jun, the country’s special envoy to the Middle East, as saying that the situation in Gaza was “very serious”. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on October 22, China continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people through the United Nations and bilateral channels and stressed that “violence is not the way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “.
The war between Israel and Hamas has entered the 16th day. So far, about 4,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 14,200 have been injured. The night of 22 October was considered the bloodiest night in the Gaza Strip when 379 people were killed in intense Israeli air strikes.
At least 93 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,600 were injured in the West Bank.
On the Israeli side, more than 1,400 people were killed and about 200 were taken hostage by Hamas.