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Chinese navy fleet visits Cape Town

Reporter: Travers Andrews 丨 CCTV.com

05-17-2016 11:00 BJT

In South Africa, there has been a colorful welcome for three Chinese warships that have docked outside Cape Town. They are on a four-day visit to strengthen ties with the South African navy.

SIMON

SIMON'S TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA), May 16, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Local Chinese visit the Chinese naval guided missile destroyer Qingdao at Simon's Town, South Africa, May 16, 2016. The 22nd Chinese naval escort taskforce arrived Monday at the Simon's Town naval base of South Africa for a four-day friendly visit. During the visit, the Chinese navy will conduct friendly exchanges with the South Africa Navy, including mutual visits and open day for public visit. After the port call, the taskforce will conduct joint exercise with the South Africa Navy in South Africa's coastal waters. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)

The 22nd Escort Task Group has been busy in the tense and troubled waters of the Gulf of Aden. Now, they are in Simonstown, the home of the South African navy. It is a goodwill visit, but there is serious business too.

“This cooperation with the Chinese navy is something that we’ve been looking forward to. We have many engagements with many international role players, but the Chinese ones seem to be unique. Since 2008, the People’s Liberation Navy has sent task groups here. This is the third task group visiting us and the first of the task group to visit Simonstown Harbor in particular,” said Bubele Mhlana, rear admiral of South African Navy.

Members of the public were allowed to tour the ships. For Cape Town’s Chinese community, it was a big moment.

Besides the fanfare, the visit also signals both navies want to work together. Upon their departure, the Chinese navy will also be participating in naval exercises with their South African counterparts.

“We have arranged that one of our frigates and submarines must actually exercise with the task group out at sea and that also signifies the first exercise of that magnitude,” said Mhlana.

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