Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark leaves Djibouti for Spain

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark leaves Djibouti Port on August 31, 2017. (Photo by Jiang Shan)

DJIBOUTI, Sept. 1 (ChinaMil) -- Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's hospital ship Peace Ark, which is on the "Harmonious Mission 2017" task, left the Djibouti Port for Spain at 10 am on August 31, local time.

This is the first time that the Peace Ark has paid a visit to Djibouti after seven years. During the 9-day friendly visit, the Chinese naval hospital ship provided free medical service to people in Djibouti, thousands of local people came for medical service every day.

Meanwhile, it sent 10 batches of medical workers to three military hospitals and two villages in Djibouti to carry out medical service. They treated 7,841 people and had 20 operations.

“You will always be a good friend to the people of Djibouti”, Djibouti Armed Forces' Chief of Staff Brigadier General Tahir Ali Mohamed said during his meeting with Rear Admiral Guan Bailin, commanding officer of the Harmonious Mission 2017 task.

The visit by the Peace Ark also attracted wide attention and won praise from the international community.

"The health services on the African continent are very backward, flooding with hunger and sufferings from civil wars. It is very difficult for locals to receive professional medical services, so the Chinese Navy is doing a significant job," said Azhdar Kurtov, a Russian political scientist and expert of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, in an interview with the Russian media.

He added that this move shows that China has always pursued its own foreign policy and has strived to strengthen cooperation with all continents and countries. The humanitarian cooperation helps promote the mutual understanding between governments and the people.

In addition, delegations from the US, France, Germany, Italy, as well as officers and soldiers of the Chinese logistics support base in Djibouti, boarded the Peace Ark for visit.

Invited by Italian and French sides, officers and soldiers of the Peace Ark also toured hospitals of the Italian logistics support base and the French Air Force base in Djibouti, and further enhanced mutual trust and friendship between each other.

It is learnt that the Peace Ark will arrive at the Port of Málaga, Spain, on September 10 for a technical docking.

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