ZHOUSHAN, Oct. 16 (ChinaMil) -- A Chinese naval task group on an ocean-going visit mission came back to a naval port in Zhoushan City , Zhejiang Province of East China, on Oct 15, after completing its mission of visiting 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.
The task group consisted of the guided-missile destroyer Changchun, the guided-missile frigate Jingzhou and the comprehensive supply ship Chaohu. The 176-day-long mission, with a navigational distance of more than 31,000 nautical miles, covered two oceans and three continents.
Since its departure on April 23, the Chinese naval task group has passed through the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as 26 international straits and waterways such as the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal.
The naval task group visited 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, including Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, Oman, Djibouti, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Maldives, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia and Thailand.
Rear Admiral Liu Xunyan, deputy political commissar of the Chinese PLA Navy, went to the pier on Oct 15 to welcome the returned naval task group and made a speech on behalf of the PLA Navy's Commander Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong and Political Commissar Vice Admiral Qin Shengxiang.
Rear Admiral Liu Xunyan said that the ocean-going visit mission was an important military diplomatic activity organized by the PLA Navy with the approval of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC). The mission has set records for the highest number of visited countries and the longest period of ocean-going visit in Chinese PLA Navy’s history.
It has promoted the development of friendly relations between China and the countries visited, and it's also a practical test of the Chinese PLA Navy’s capability to fulfill diversified far-sea missions, Rear Admiral Liu added.
During its mission, the ocean-going naval task group received 103 batches of onboard visits from naval sailors, local people and overseas Chinese in the host countries, with a total number of 31,600 persons. It also conducted joint maritime drills with naval ships from 15 of the host countries.