Two Chinese naval ships and 530 Chinese sailors sailed on Thursday morning into the western French military port of Brest for a four-day goodwill visit, the first ever to Europe by warships of the People's Republic of China.
The flotilla of the guided missile destroyer Shenzhen and the supply ship Feng Cang, led by Rear-Admiral Wu Fuchun, chief of staff of China's East Sea Fleet, was greeted at the harbor by Rear- Admiral Durieux of the French Navy and Chinese Ambassador to France Wu Jianmin.
Hundreds of people of Chinese origin attended the welcome ceremony with a performance of guard and band from the French navy.
During their stay, Chinese sailors will visit the port city of Brest and hold friendship sport matches with French Navy members.
France is the third leg of the Chinese flotilla's four-nation Europe tour, which has taken them to Germany and Britain. After France, they will travel on to Italy.
(People's Daily 10/05/2001)