Chinese warships visit US navy base after joint drill
Updated: 2014-08-12 08:17
By Xinhua in San Diego, California (China Daily)
Officers and sailors line up on board the missile destroyer Haikou as the vessel arrives on Sunday at the US naval base in San Diego for a five-day visit. Hu Kaibing / Xinhua
A Chinese flotilla arrived at San Diego naval base in the US on Sunday for a five-day visit after taking part in the world's largest maritime military drill.
Task Group 171 participated in the Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise off Hawaii. The group includes the missile destroyer Haikou, missile frigate Yueyang and supply ship Qiandaohu, and has a ship-borne helicopter and more than 700 sailors and officers.
"Military-to-military engagements, like RIMPAC and this port visit, are very important to the relationship between our navies," Rear Admiral Patrick Lorge, commander of US Navy Region Southwest, said at a welcoming ceremony that featured Chinese cultural performances. "They help us build trust and enhance transparency."
Rear Admiral Shen Jinlong, the commander of the Chinese fleet, said, "China's participation in RIMPAC represents an important measure to push forward a new type of navy-to-navy relationship characterized by harmony, progress and pragmatic cooperation.
"It will have a very positive effect on advancing relations between our navies.
"The Chinese and US navies will conduct extensive and in-depth exchanges during the visit."
Visitors were invited to tour the Chinese ships as Chinese lion dancers and drummers performed on the pier.
"The Chinese navy has shown openness and confidence and I am so impressed with the destroyer Haikou," said visitor Tom Chen.
RIMPAC started in 1971, and 22 nations took part in this year's exercise between June 26 and Aug 1.