Australia/China — Peoples Republic of China Navy visit to Australia set to strengthen ‘Nation to Nation’ ties

Two ships from the Peo­ples Repub­lic of Chi­na, the train­ing ship Zhenghe and frigate Mianyang, will be vis­it­ing Syd­ney from Mon­day 20 Sep­tem­ber to Fri­day 24 Sep­tem­ber and Dar­win from Sun­day 3 to Thurs­day 7 Octo­ber 2010.

Their arrival fol­lows a recent vis­it to Aus­tralia by senior mem­bers of the Peo­ples Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA), dur­ing which Aus­tralia and Chi­na agreed to a range of prac­ti­cal coop­er­a­tion mea­sures aimed at deep­en­ing ‘nation to nation’ defence ties.

Accord­ing to Com­man­der Aus­tralian Fleet, Rear Admi­ral Stephen Gilmore AM CSC RAN, who wel­comed the Chi­nese ships and crew to Syd­ney, Aus­tralia is com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing strong and pos­i­tive defence rela­tions with Chi­na that help con­tribute to region­al secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty.

“This vis­it builds upon pre­vi­ous Navy-to-Navy engage­ments with the PLA and is a sign of the grow­ing matu­ri­ty in our Defence rela­tion­ship with Chi­na,” said Rear Admi­ral Gilmore.

As part of out grow­ing mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion, HMAS War­ra­munga will con­duct rec­i­p­ro­cal vis­its to the Chi­nese ports of Qing­dao from 18–22 Sep­tem­ber and Zhan­jiang from 26–30 Sep­tem­ber. The PLA Navy also extend­ed an invi­ta­tion for two Aus­tralian Mid­ship­men from the Aus­tralian Defence Force Acad­e­my to join the train­ing ship Zhenghe on her jour­ney from Auck­land to Syd­ney.

“For me this was a fan­tas­tic, once-in-a-life-time oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence life on board a PLA ship, so I’m very grate­ful to the Chi­nese for their invi­ta­tion,” said Mid­ship­man Angus Ster­ling.

Dur­ing their stay in Syd­ney, the Chi­nese crew mem­bers will be vis­it­ing Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy ships and estab­lish­ments, as well as hold­ing a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ty events includ­ing a con­cert in Dar­ling Har­bour by the PLA Band.

Media con­tact:
Defence Media Liai­son (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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