It's a fad in the official media, pretty stupid though.Does science mean something different in China? Because every military news blast originating in China seems to invoke science. "Scientific escort"? What the heck is that? How many peer-reviewed articles are published based on that research? How many PhDs are on-board these ships? They are conducted training and research, not science. Science is the progress of discovering new knowledge of the natural or human world. New knowledge means new to the world, not just new to China. I'm pretty sure everything China is discovering it the anti-piracy missions about sea-keeping, maritime logistics, and so on is well known to the ancient navies of Britain, France, and the United States.
It seems to me that China is trying to cloak its military under the banner of "science." It's like saying, "This isn't a gun, it's a research tool! And I'm not going to shoot you, I'm going to conduct scientific research!" (Which is little comfort because "scientific research" was the justification for Japan's Unit 731 in China and Dr. Mengele in Germany). Call a spade a spade: it's not science, it's naval warfare. To call it science is an insult to real scientists.