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Chinese navy vessel ends global goodwill voyage


08:31, September 24, 2012

DALIAN, Liaoning, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese navy vessel "Zhenghe" returned to the port city of Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province Friday after a 158-day global goodwill voyage.

The "Zhenghe," named after a Chinese maritime explorer who sailed overseas about 600 years ago, traveled more than 30,000 nautical miles through the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic and the Pacific after it set off from Dalian on April 16.

The vessel, with a total of 308 sailors on board including 110 students from the Dalian Naval Academy, visited 14 countries and regions and received more than 20,000 visitors during the voyage, according to the navy sources.

The voyage was the first time the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy had sent students on a goodwill voyage. It was the second such voyage, 10 years after the first trip.

The vessel and its crew helped promote exchanges with foreign navies and displayed the image of an open and confident Chinese navy, said PLA Navy Commander Wu Shengli at a welcome ceremony held on the pier.

They have earned the honor for the motherland and its people, he said.

During the voyage, the vessel held joint exercises with Malaysian and Italian navies. Students from naval academies and navy officers of nine countries were invited onboard and participated in maritime training sessions with Chinese students.h The Zhenghe joined service 25 years ago.

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