Beijing says it may accept an offer from the Seychelles to host its navy ships, in a further sign of the Chinese military's expanding global reach.
A Defense Ministry statement said the Indian island nation's government invited Chinese ships to visit for rest and resupply. It said China will consider the offer.
China has contributed ships to a multinational force conducting anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia since late 2008. Those vessels have visited various ports to allow their crews to rest and to take on supplies, including in Yemen and Oman on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
The Chinese navy has grown in recent years from a coastal protection force to one spanning the globe.