PEKING Demonstrating its growing blue water naval capability, China dispatched two warships today on a three nation Indian Ocean tour the first visit by Chinese Navy vessels to foreign ports since 1949, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The East China Sea fleet warships a guided missile destroyer and an accompanying supply ship embarked on the “goodwill” voyage to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Shanghai, Xinhulysts said the Indian Ocean movement was a demonstration of China’s push to expand its primarily coastal patrol fleet of some 3,000 small vessels into Y” blue water,” oceangoing force.

According to Western defense estimates, the Chinese Navy with a massive manpower of 360,000, currently has only 40 major surface combat ships and 104 attack submarines.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 22, 1985