GEORGE TOWN: Three Chinese navy vessels will be visiting Penang for the first time in a bid to strengthen ties between Malaysia and China, said Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.
Tan said Penangites would have the rare opportunity to witness the historic moment of the warships docking in Penang.
“PPC will give full cooperation to accommodate the three vessels, CNS Changchun Type 052C destroyer, CNS Jingzhou Type 054A Frigate and CNS Chaohu Type 903 replenishment ship, which will be in Penang from May 12 to 15.
“I have also instructed PPC and Penang Port Sdn Bhd to fully cooperate and go all out, to ensure the docking of the vessels goes smooth.
“The navy vessels will be docked at the Butterworth Container Terminal from 10am on May 12 to 10am on May 15.
“They will be here for four days and three nights,” said Tan, who is also state MCA chairman, in a press statement yesterday.
During a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at Komtar yesterday, People’s Republic of China consul-general to Penang Wu Jun (pic) said the vessels’ visit to Penang was due to the bilateral relationship between both governments.
“The visit to Penang was planned last year as part of an outreach effort to improve and promote international collaborations, peace and harmony.
“I hope this visit not only demonstrates the close cooperation and friendship between both the Chinese and Malaysian naval forces, but also strengthen and elevate the relationship.
“The Chinese vessels are currently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and will be visiting Cambodia and then heading to Penang,” he said adding there were about 600 to 700 crew on board the three vessels.
According to Lim, this is the first time Chinese warships are coming to Penang.
“During the visit, there will be open days where the public can visit the vessels.
“They are on a tour and Penang is one of the 20 ports and places they are visiting,” he said.
It is learnt that the public can visit the vessels during a session in the afternoon on May 12, half a day on May 13 and the whole of May 14.