Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz
The Chinese naval training ship Zhenghe has travelled to Fiji on a goodwill visit.
The ship is carrying 349 crew on board, including 169 trainees, of whom 17 are women.
This is part of a long-term training exchange programme between Fiji and China and a global goodwill exchange programme.
Fiji’s Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Osea Cawaru welcomed the Commander, Yan Zhenming, who is also the director and head of the Dalian Naval Training School in North China where some Fiji naval officers have been sent for training.
Cawaru thanked China for offering training to the Fiji naval officers and hoped the friendship would continue in the future.
“We hope to strengthen the two countries bilateral ties further through today’s visit and hope to continue the exchange program for our Fijian naval officers training,” PS Cawaru said.
Commander Yan Zhenming said the ship departed China on October 24 and its first stop was in Jakarta, Indonesia, followed by visits to Sydney and Auckland, before arriving in Fiji last Friday.
“We have two foreign cadets on board from Jakarta. The ship is 30 years old and has trained 30,000 Chinese cadets. It haS visited 30 countries so far and we are looking forward to having Fijian naval officers to be part of the ship,” Commander Yan Zhenming said.