By Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – The Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Xin Shunkang says the visit of the Chinese Navy escort to Namibia will further cement and develop a new type of Chinese-Africa strategic partnership.
The Ambassador was speaking at the arrival of three Chinese Navy vessels in Walvis Bay on Tuesday.
The momentous occasion was witnessed by close to 600 Chinese and Namibian residents, including local dignitaries of Erongo Region.
The three ships are Tai Hu, Luoyang and Yancheng.
It was the first ever visit by the Chinese Navy to Namibia since attaining independence in 1990.
China and Namibia have regualr high-level exchanges and cooperation at political, cultural and trade levels.
“This fully reflects the vitality of the close friendship and political ties between our two countries. However, military cooperation has always been an important part of our bilateral relations. Today the Chinese Navy made its first ever visit to Namibia and opened a new era of our military exchange and partnership,” Xin said.
As part of the visit the Chinese Navy took part in joint marine exercises which focussed on formation movement, and communication and rescue operations.
The exercise aimed at promoting the coordination and security keeping capabilities of the two navies.
Prior to its arrival in Namibia, the Chinese fleet carried out escort missions from November last year to April 2014 in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast. It then undertook the trip around Africa.
Namibia is its 7th stop and the fleet was expected to depart for South Africa today.