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US Destroyer Visits PLA Navy in Qingdao
The USS Paul F. Foster, a destroyer of the US Navy, arrived in Qingdao Sunday, a seaport city of East China for a five-day visit.

The North China Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy held a welcoming ceremony at the port for the US naval vessel.

Senior US officers with the American destroyer met with Ding Yiping, a vice-admiral and commander of the North China Sea Fleet.

Officers and soldiers from both sides are expected to conduct friendly exchange activities during the visit, the sixth by a US warship since military exchanges began in 1986.

It is also the first time a US military ship has docked in a mainland port since a mid-air collision between a US plane and a Chinese fighter off China's southern coast in April 2001.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a press briefing on Thursday that military exchanges between China and US are conducive to improving mutual understanding. They are also useful in promoting bilateral relations, he said.

President Jiang Zemin's visit to the US last month was marked by a number of agreements with US counterpart George W. Bush. These included the resumption of friendly bilateral military exchanges.

Vice-defence ministers of the two nations will hold talks on defence affairs in the coming months.

(China Daily November 25, 2002)

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