Chinese Hospital Ship, Ark Peace, docks at Vuna Wharf, Nuku'alofa. 13 August 2018.
The Ark Peace, a Naval Hospital Ship from China, arrived on Monday morning, August 13, at Vuna Wharf on an eight-day humanitarian visit to provide medical services to the people of Tonga.
The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Semisi Sika and Chinese Ambassador HE Mr Wang Baodong welcomed Rear Admiral Guan Bailin and his crew.
This is the second visit of the hospital ship to Tonga, after visiting other Pacific Islands countries.
Rear-Admiral Guan thanked the Tonga Government, military, Chinese Embassy and community for the warm welcome.
"Ark Peace is an old friend of Tonga after visiting three-years ago. We are still impressed by your unique natural beauty, kindness and hospitable people. This visit is like a joyful get together of old friends.”
He said the ship will provide free medical services to local people, ship tour in exchange for cultural entertainment to further mutual understanding, expand communication and cooperation in order to cement the traditional friendship between our two countries.
The Chinese Ambassador said on the occasion of jointly cerebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the visit by Ark Peace was of great significance.
“I believe the visit will help strengthen the mutually-beneficial cooperation in health, military and other fields between our two countries, enhance the friendship between our two peoples and promote the greater achievements in the development of the China-Tonga Strategic Partnership.”
The Deputy Prime Minister who toured the ship with other guests thanked the People’s Liberation Army Navy for including Tonga on the ship’s visit.
The ship brings 120 medical personnel to provide medical services with consultation, physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment on board starting Monday afternoon, August 13.
Doctors and nurses from Vaiola Hospital will also be on board to take part in providing the medical services.
At the same time, a medical team will be dispatched to carry out the same service at other health centers throughout Tongatapu, while a team will fly to ‘Eua at the end of the week.
Commissioned in October 2008, the ship has a full displacement of 14,300 tons. It has an ambulance helicopter and is equipped with 300 beds, eight operating rooms and more than 200 types of medical devices including CT, ultrasonic, biochemistry analyzer and monitors.
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