KIEL, June 23 (ChinaMil) -- The guided-missile frigate Xiangtan of the 23rd Chinese naval escort taskforce wrapped up its missions in Kiel, Germany, and left Kiel for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia on the noon of June 21. The staff of Chinese embassy in Germany and the representatives of the German Navy gave a send-off at the wharf.
The Xiangtan warship went to Germany for Kiel Week on June 17. Senior Captain Wang Hongli, commanding officer of the taskforce, met the local military and political officials, visited Laboe Naval Memorial and presented wreaths to the monument.
The Xiangtan warship held many activities during the Kiel Week, including a deck reception and an open day for the public. Sailors of the Xiangtan warship participated in an international maritime comprehensive skill contest and an exchange activity among young officers, etc.
The Xiangtan warship attended the Kiel Week on behalf of the PLA Navy for the first time, attracting great attention from and being warmly received by the local government and military.
During this Kiel Week, the high-ranking foreign military and political officials, such as Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Rainer Brinkmann, Deputy Chief of Staff of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Mosiwa Samuel Hlongwane, Chief of South African Navy, Torsten Albig, governor of Schleswig–Holstein, as well as the naval officers and soldiers from a number of countries attending the Kiel Week, boarded the Xiangtan warship for visits. They spoke highly of the excellent equipment and neat appearance of the warship and the good qualities of Chinese sailors.
The people from China-funded institutions, Chinese nationals and overseas Chinese in Germany also arrived in Kiel from all parts of Germany to watch the warship from their motherland.
"We had exchanges with foreign naval officers and soldiers at multiple levels during the Kiel Week, which has strengthened mutual trust, enhanced friendship," Senior Captain Wang Hongli, commanding officer of the taskforce, told the reporter.
The Xiangtan warship will transit through such sea areas as the Kiel Canal, the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal before arriving in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia and continuing its escort mission, according to sources.