Friday, July 30, 2010

PLA naval ship formation to visit five south pacific countries

A busy year for the PLAN -- in addition to the regular deployments to the Gulf of Aden, the South China Sea and Yellow Sea Dog-and-Pony shows, and the buzzing of the Japanese "self-defense" fleet, it seems she still has enough shrimp boats left over to conduct a good will tour.

PLA naval ship formation to visit five south pacific countries
(Source: China Military Online) 2010-07-29

The ship formation of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) consisting of the “Zhenghe” training ship and the “Mianyang” guided-missile frigate will pay a visit to five south pacific countries including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia from late July to late October.

“The aim of the visit is to strengthen the pragmatic exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese military and the navies of the five south pacific countries and develop the friendly relations,” said by an officer of the Information Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese naval ship formation will make its first visit to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Tonga during this trip. Besides, the formation will invite two midshipmen from the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy to board the Chinese ships to sail together during its voyage between Auckland of New Zealand to Sydney of Australia. The four midshipmen will eat, live, go through training, work and enjoy recreational activities together with the Chinese midshipmen, so as to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between them.

It is said that the training ships and the combat ships of the PLA navy had visited foreign countries independently before, but it is the first time for them to visit foreign countries in mixed formation. Through this kind of formation, the midshipmen of the naval academies can broaden their horizons and enhance their abilities while accomplishing their ocean-going training.

Rear Admiral Leng Zhenqing, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Navy, will be the commander of the visiting formation.

By Tian Yuan

No comments: