|Supply ship Taihu of the Chinese navy leaves the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia, June 13, 2014. A Chinese navy fleet consisting of two missile frigates and a supply ship concluded its three-day visit to Namibia and left for South Africa, the final stop of its eight-country African tour. (Xinhua/Gao Lei)|
WALVIS BAY, June 13 -- A Chinese navy fleet concluded its three-day visit to Namibia Friday afternoon, leaving the Port of Walvis Bay for South Africa's Cape Town, the final stop of its African tour.
With two missile frigates and a supply ship, the 16th Escort Task Force of the Chinese navy had since November 2013 safely escorted numerous international vessels in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, before they embarked on the eight-country African tour in late April.
When it docked at the Port of Walvis Bay on Wednesday, the fleet was warmly welcomed by a cheering crowd of over 600 people, who were rewarded with a rare chance to board the two missile frigates to look closely at the modern Chinese navy.
Asser Kapere, Chairperson of Namibia's National Council, was among the high-ranking officials from the government and military who boarded the ships.
During the visit, Command Officers from the fleet visited the headquarters of the Namibian Navy, where they were received by Navy Commander Rear Admiral Peter Vilho. A professional forum was held there for the two navies to exchange views regarding the escort missions and naval power-building.
Prior to the port call, the two navies held first-ever joint drills off Walvis Bay on Tuesday.
According to Liu Aimin, Defence Attache of the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, the visit has ushered in a "new era" for military cooperation between the two brotherly countries who shared a similar history of fighting for national independence.
NamPost, Namibia's national postal operator, published first- day covers and stamps featured on Chinese warships to celebrate Chinese navy's first visit to Namibia.
"Long live the friendship between China and Namibia", the first- day cover reads.