Chi­nese navy wel­comed with fan­fare to Yan­gon

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­

Two Chi­nese ships have docked in Thi­lawa’s deep sea­port for a five­day visit as the north­ern neigh­bour con­tin­ues its cam­paign to woo the Myan­mar gov­ern­ment.

TWO Chi­nese frigates have docked in Yan­gon and will stay for five days in a show of diplo­matic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions, says the Chi­nese em­bassy in Yan­gon.

The two ships, the FFG Xiang­tan and the FFG Zhoushan, ar­rived in Thi­lawa’s deep-sea port on Septem­ber 30 and were wel­comed by Chi­nese Am­bas­sador Hong Liang, the chief of Myan­mar’s naval dock­yard head­quar­ters, Ad­mi­ral Myint Oo, and other naval of­fi­cials.

In May 2014, a Chi­nese train­ing flotilla vis­ited the port, which has hosted many of Myan­mar’s al­lies in its his­tory. This lat­est visit, which aims to strengthen strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, is re­garded as a sig­nif­i­cant ex­change be­tween the two navies.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese em­bassy in Yan­gon, the fleet’s com­mand­ing of­fi­cers are due to meet with Yan­gon Re­gion Chief Min­is­ter U Phyo Min Thein and Tat­madaw lead­ers while the ships’ crews will carry out ex­changes and in­ter­ac­tions, such as tours and foot­ball games, with their Myan­mar coun­ter­parts.

The Zhoushan and Xiang­tan are re­turn­ing from a four-month mis­sion to the Mid­dle East, where they es­corted Chi­nese and other ships trans­port­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to ar­eas threat­ened by So­mali rebels.

“The ships come to im­prove the two coun­tries’ re­la­tion­ships. Our two mil­i­taries are friends and part­ners. We are close broth­ers,” said Mr Hong, the Chi­nese am­bas­sador.

The Chi­nese em­bassy also re­leased a state­ment on Septem­ber 30 that the Chi­nese navy’s visit is a demon­stra­tion of friend­ship, peace, ex­change and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and will en­hance mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two coun­tries and their mil­i­taries.

“The [Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army] PLA Navy is earnestly car­ry­ing out prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion with other navies, in­clud­ing Myan­mar’s, to con­trib­ute to a har­mo­nious world and a har­mo­nious ocean,” said the state­ment.

Photo: Aung Khant

Chi­nese ships FFG Xiang­tan and FFG Zhoushan docked at the Thi­lawa Port in Yan­gon on Septem­ber 30.

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