SA Navy welcomes Chinese crew

2018-07-10 06:00
PLAN Frigate, PLAN 550 Weifang, with two SA Navy tug boats arriving in Naval Base Simon’s Town. PHOTO: shanton prins

PLAN Frigate, PLAN 550 Weifang, with two SA Navy tug boats arriving in Naval Base Simon’s Town. PHOTO: shanton prins

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A contingent from the Chinese People’s Liberation Navy (PLAN) paid a goodwill visit to the South African Navy from Sunday 27 June to Sunday 1 July.

The task group was comprised of frigates 546 Yamvheng, 550 Weifang and an integrated supply vessel, 889 Taihu, with a combined crew of 699 sailors.

The task group is commanded by Senior Captain Wu Donzhu, deputy chief of staff of the PLAN of the Northern Theatre Command­.

He addressed the dignitaries on arrival and thanked the SA Navy for their hospitality­.

The Chinese community in and around Cape Town were on the quay welcoming them with Chinese and South African flags.

The Traditional Lions Dance was performed by the Huaxing Arts Society in Cape Town.

In addition to the official programme, the crew from both navies competed against each other in a friendly soccer and table tennis match during the course of the week.

“This was the third visit of PLAN and the Chinese community were allowed to go onboard and interact with the crew. Besides the official visit they also had the opportunity to take in the tourist sites in and around Cape Town,” said Commander Rachel Dulamo of the SA Navy.

The Chinese navy visited Table Mountain, Cape Point and penguins­.

When they left on Monday 2 July they engaged in bilateral exercises with SAS Amatola but due to bad weather, they had to stay at anchor and departed on Tuesday 3 July, she said.

On a question if there was any banter about SA and the Chinese not in action at the Soccer World Cup in Russia, she said there was none but the two navies opted to rather play a soccer match.

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