By Zhu Linlin and Guo Bing
LIBREVILLE, June 20 (ChinaMil) -- Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his entourage including Gabonese Defense Minister Etienne Massard Kabinda Makaga visited the Chinese guided-missile frigate Yancheng, the commanding ship of the 28th Chinese naval escort taskforce at the Port of Owendo in Libreville, Gabon, on June 18, local time.
President Bongo was greeted by Chinese ambassador to Gabon Hu Changchun and commanding officer of the Chinese naval taskforce Major General Guo Hongwei at the dock.
The Chinese naval taskforce held a grand welcoming ceremony for President Bongo on the guided-missile frigate Yancheng.
After signing the guest book, President Bongo toured different parts of the Chinese frigate including the main-gun systems, missile launch platform and the ship-borne helicopter hangar on the frigate.
President Bongo said he was happy to board the Chinese naval ship and his visit was designed to enhance the friendship between the people of Gabon and China and the friendship between the armed forces of the two countries.
He also expressed his willingness to strengthen and expand cooperation and communication between the two militaries.
Senior Colonel Wu Dongzhu, commanding officer of the Chinese naval taskforce, said at the welcoming ceremony that the taskforce's visit to Gabon was a concrete move to implement the consensus reached by the heads of state of China and Gabon on upgrading the bilateral relations to the comprehensive cooperative partnership, as well as an important demonstration of the profound friendship between the two countries.
The 28th Chinese naval escort taskforce arrived in Libreville on June 15 for a friendly visit to Gabon. During the visit, the commanding officers of the taskforce called on Gabonese Defense Minister Etienne Massard Kabinda Makaga.
The medium and senior-grade officials of Gabon’s gendarmerie, republican guard and national police visited the frigate Yancheng, and representatives of Gabonese military officers and soldiers visited the frigate Weifang.
Sailors of the two navies also held an anti-piracy boarding exercise and sports games.
The 28th Chinese naval escort taskforce, composing of the guided missile frigates Yancheng and Weifang and supply ship Taihu, departed from Libreville after wrapping up its visit to Gabon and headed to South Africa on the morning of June 19, local time.