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Chinese navy vessel "Zhenghe" pays goodwill visit to Canada

(Xinhua)

14:06, June 27, 2012

HALIFAX, Canada, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Navy training vessel "Zhenghe" arrived in the eastern Canadian port city of Halifax on Monday, starting a three-day goodwill visit to the country.

While the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s ocean-going training ship slowly entered the port of Halifax, it was warmly received by the Chinese Defence Attache in Canada Li Daozhong, some 300 members from local Chinese communities as well as high-ranking Canadian officers.

A welcoming ceremony was held by the Canadian Maritime Forces at the jetty, where ship commander Liao Shining, escorted by David Gardam, commander of Canadian Maritime Forces Atlantic/Joint Task Force Atlantic, inspected the Canadian Navy's guard of honor.

Gardam said in his speech that with the Chinese military and Canadian military learning from each other and conducting high-level exchanges,the arrival of "Zhenghe" is part of the visiting plan between both sides. He noted the Royal Canadian Navy wishes to expand the cooperation with PLA Navy.

Liao, also deputy chief of staff of the PLA Navy, told the Canadian officers and sailors that the main purpose of this visit is to promote the ideal of "a harmonious world and a harmonious ocean," as well as to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries and the two Navies.

During their stay in Halifax, the Chinese officers will visit the mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality and the headquarters of Canadian Maritime Forces Atlantic.

Chinese sailors and cadets will make a tour of Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School and HMCS TORONTO, and then play a friendship soccer match with Canadian counterparts.

Canada is the seventh stop of the vessel's five-month global voyage, which started from China's northeastern port city of Dalian in mid-April.

The vessel "Zhenghe," named after a famed Chinese maritime explorer who sailed overseas about 600 years ago, has a scheduled route of more than 30,000 nautical miles, and is expected to pay port calls to 11 countries and working visits to three countries during its global voyage.

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