Chinese Navy Escort Task Group Visits Ghana

Dignitaries in a group photograph

THE 28TH Chinese Naval Escort Mission of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has docked at the Tema Port of the Greater Accra Region for a goodwill visit to the country.

This marks the maiden visit of 28th Escort Task Group (ETG546) composed of three ships with officers of Chinese fleet to Ghana. The group will pay a four-day working visit in Ghana in addition to some humanitarian works officials have intended to embark on while in the country.

Addressing a welcome ceremony at the Tema Port on Monday, Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul, indicated that the visit would reinforce the existing cordial relation between the Chinese and Ghanaian naval forces.

He said while in the country the crew members would have exchange programmes such as exercises at sea, alongside training on the use of modern equipment with their Ghanaian counterparts.

According to him, while they wish to impart their rich knowledge to their counterparts, they also intend learning from them as well.

He explained that the complex nature of maritime security necessitated the need to give credence to training and capacity building, appealing to the Chinese government to deepen the existing relations between Ghana and China by assisting to develop the city.

The minister thanked the Chinese government for the opportunity to witness the maiden diplomatic visit of the 28th Escort Task Group, saying that it would go a long way to cement the already existing cordial relationships between the two countries.

For his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Shi Ting Wang, who welcomed the ETG 546 noted that the visit is to strengthen the already cordial relations between the two countries and particularly to reinforce the ties between the Chinese and Ghanaian navies since Chinese prioritize the need to maintain peace and international disputes.

“China has always been a contributor of world peace. Chinese civilization advocates the idea to stabilize the nation with harmony and to treasure harmony. Peace has been implanted into the blood and genes of the Chinese people. The Chinese people have survived the miseries in history and are fully aware of the preciousness of peace and development,” he said.

He reiterated the cordial relationship between Ghana and China, explaining that “the high-level exchanges between the two sides are frequent, the pragmatic co-operation is flourishing and cultural ties and exchanges in various fields are becoming closer.”

Since December 26, 2017, the 28th Escort Task Group of the Chinese PLA Navy has carried out several escort missions. It has successfully completed the escort mission of 30 batches of 41 Chinese and foreign ships, including special escort for ships of United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) among others.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema