Navy's Peace Ark makes stop in Angola

By ZHANG ZHIHAO | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-21 08:00

Navy's Peace Ark makes stop in Angola

Guan Bolin (center), the mission commander of China's naval hospital ship, the Peace Ark, greets well-wishers after the vessel arrived at the port of Luanda in Angola on Thursday. The ship, which can handle major surgeries, will provide eight days of free medical services and humanitarian aid to local residents. In addition, Chinese doctors will assist patient treatments in hospitals. JIANG SHAN/XINHUA

China's naval hospital ship made its first visit to Angola on Thursday to provide free medical services and humanitarian aid, the Defense Ministry said.

The CNS Daishandao, also known as Peace Ark, is making the eight-day goodwill visit to the southwestern African country during its first voyage around the continent, codenamed Harmonious Mission 2017.

The ship has visited other African countries, include Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Gabon and Republic of Congo. It will visit Mozambique and Tanzania. It will also visit the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Southeast Asia during its 155-day mission.

"This mission is an important military diplomacy event that can test and sharpen our medical ship's overseas capability," Ding Haichun, deputy-commissar of the PLA Navy, said at the ship's departure ceremony in July.

"It will fully showcase China shouldering international duties as a responsible big nation and promote the Chinese military's sincere attitude toward maintaining peace and caring for lives," he added.

The visit began when the ship arrived at the port of Luanda, Angola's capital, about 11:30 am on Thursday, local time. Officials and representatives from the Angolan Navy, the Chinese embassy and overseas companies held a welcoming ceremony.

The visit will include a range of activities, including providing free health services to the public and other medical and military exchanges, the ministry said.

The ship will serve as the main platform for patients. At the same time, small teams of doctors will go to general hospitals in Angola to assist with treatment.

China and Angola established formal relations in 1983 and upgraded it to strategic partnership in 2010. Since 2009, China has dispatched four teams totaling 57 medical personnel to Angola.

The Peace Ark has 110 physicians and medical workers from the Second Military Medical University and the Navy General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army. It has participated in six Harmonious Missions, the first beginning in 2010.

He Wenping, director of the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said sailing around the African continent is a testament to China's growing overseas logistics capabilities, especially for medical services.

"At first, our medical ship could only reach a few nations in Asia and the South Pacific. Now it can cover the entire coast of Africa, and provide a wider range of services from checkups to complex surgeries," she said.

"Africa is also developing fast, with growing investment from China. But the people still lack doctors and medicine," she said. "The Chinese Navy is showing great moral standards and compassion by helping the African people in need."

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349