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Chinese Navy Visits Canada

Chinese navy ships arrived at Esquimalt military base, British Columia on Tuesday morning for a four-day good-will visit to Canada, and was warmly welcomed .

A 100-member Canadian guard of honor saluted the piloted Chinese missile destroyer "Qingdao" and supporting vessel "Tai Cang". Local native tribes also performed traditional singing and dance to welcome the Chinese navy.

In his welcoming speech, Canadian Rear-Admiral R. D. Buck described the arrival of the Chinese navy ships as "truly historic. "

"Your visit recognizes the strong relationship between our two peace-loving peoples and growing relationship between our navies," he said.

"This visit is also very notable because it occurs on the 30th anniversary of our two nations establishing the diplomatic relations in October 1970," he said.

Rear-Admiral Buck also expressed thanks for the hospitality received by Canadian navy ships during their visits to Qingdao, Shanghai and Hong Kong since the 1980s.

He said that he himself had spent two birthdays during the visits to Chinese cities.

Chinese Rear Admiral Lu Fangqiu said the Chinese navy task group of "Qingdao" and "Tai Cang" are carrying good will across the Pacific Ocean from the Chinese people.

He praised the increased friendly exchanges between the two armed forces in recent years, saying that the current visit by the Chinese navy ships is marking a milestone in the Sino-Canadian army ties and will bring their relationship to a higher level.

Canadian Commodore K. F. McMillan and Chinese Ambassador to Canada Mei Ping were also present at the ceremony attended by hundreds of local Chinese Canadians, who performed traditional Chinese lions dance to greet the Chinese guests.

The Chinese navy ships arrived for a four-day visit after calling at US naval bases in Hawaii and Seattle.

During their stay, the Chinese officers and sailors will participate in a joint training event with a Canadian ship.

(Xinhua 09/20/2000)

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