Three Chinese vessels arrive in Manila for four-day goodwill visit
Three vessels of the China People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) arrived at Pier 15 in South Harbor Thursday morning.
“The Chinese Naval Task Group consisting of a pair of Type-054A guided-missile frigates, Wu Hu and Han Dan and replenishment ship, Dong Ping Hu, arrived here today for a four-day goodwill visit until Monday, January 21, 2019,” Captain Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman said.
“At 10 o’clock in the morning, Commodore Wilfredo Burgonio, deputy commander of the Philippine Fleet, the designated Flag Officer in attendance of the Philippine Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony followed by a port briefing related to health and security aboard frigate Wu Hu,” he added.
Zata said a courtesy call will be rendered to the Philippine Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Danilo Rodelas, by Rear Adm. Xu Haihua and party Friday and another call on the Flag Officer In Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad Saturday.
In his speech, Zata said Rear Admiral Xu Haihua, deputy chief of staff of North Sea Fleet, PLA Navy and the Naval Task Group Commander emphasized enhanced relationship between China and Philippines.
“We have elevated our relationship to one of comprehensive strategic cooperation, opening a new chapter for China-Philippine relationship. I believe that we come here with peace, friendship and a better vision of common development and shared prosperity...” Xu said.
Zata said Burgonio “expressed that the arrival of the Chinese Navy counterparts underscores the continuing efforts to further strengthen the relationship between our navies.”
“This will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation through naval diplomacy,” he said.
Zata said this is the second visit of China People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed office in 2016.
He said the first visit took place last April 30, 2017 at Sasa Wharf in Davao City.
Like their previous visits, the PLA Navy will engage in a series of confidence building activities with their PN counterparts such as goodwill games followed by a boodle fight and shipboard tour aboard PLA Navy vessels, said Zata.
A send-off ceremony with the customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap their port visit on January 21, he added. Robina Asido/DMS.