LONDON — A fleet of Chinese ships is on its way to the Middle East and North Africa to support a fleet of U.S. cargo ships that is preparing to launch their first transatlantic flights in six years.
The U.K.-based U.N. agency, the European Union and Japan are sending their own ships, which are in the final stages of design, to the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa.
China has sent its second, larger, fleet to the Horn.
The ships are in various stages of preparation for the next leg of the trip.
One of the ships is scheduled to dock in Singapore for the first leg of its trip in 2019.
It is expected to arrive in the Arabian Gulf and then the Red Sea.
China is also making a final trip to the Arabian Sea, where it plans to dock with a second ship.
A Chinese ship in the Indian ocean in March.
The U and the E.U. signed a pact in June to open up more trade and investment in the region, but some U.s concerns about the rise of China, which is growing rapidly, have caused some to say the deal may not be able to deliver.