Chinese flotilla in Manila for 4-day goodwill visit

By Priam Nepomuceno

January 17, 2019, 5:22 pm

MANILA -- A Chinese naval task force consisting of two guided-missile frigates, Wu Hu (Hull 539) and Han Dan (Hull 579), and replenishment ship, Dong Ping Hu (Hull 960), arrived at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila on Thursday for a goodwill visit that will last until January 21. 

At 10 a.m., Commodore Wilfredo F. Burgonio, Philippine Fleet deputy commander and representing Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad, accorded the Chinese flotilla a welcome ceremony followed by a port briefing related to health and security aboard the Wu Hu.

“We have elevated our relationship to one of comprehensive strategic cooperation, opening a new chapter for China-Philippine relationship. I believe that we come here with peace, friendship and a better vision of common development and shared prosperity,” Rear Admiral Xu Haihua, North Sea Fleet deputy chief-of-staff and naval task group commander said in his speech at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Burgonio expressed hope that the arrival of their counterparts from the Chinese Navy underscored the continuing efforts to further strengthen the relationship between the two Navies.

This will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation through naval diplomacy.

The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. It will further enhance exchanges and mutual trust through naval diplomacy.

The event was also witnessed by members of the Filipino-Chinese community, who joined in welcoming the Chinese Navy contingent.

This is the second visit for the People’s Liberation Army Navy ships during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The first visit took place in April 30, 2017 at Sasa Wharf in Davao City. (PNA)