Chinese Navy Hosted at Pearl Harbor

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Three People's Liberation Army-Navy ships pulled into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 6, for a routine port visit, U.S. Navy said.

The crewmembers of the Luhu-class destroyer Qingdao, Jiangkai-class frigate Linyi and Fuqing-class fleet oiler Hongzehu have been invited to participate in receptions and sporting events with their American counterparts. In addition they will enjoy some historical sites of Hawaii, including the newly unveiled statue of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander during World War II.

The visit will culminate with a one-day search-and-rescue drill, Sept. 9. This visit is part of a planned series of military-to-military exchanges between the two nations. Earlier this year Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited China, as the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) made a port visit to Zhanjiang.

"Like our Pacific Fleet Commander of today, Adm. Haney, Fleet Adm. Nimitz believed in a strategy of collaboration and cooperation to reinforce openness and enhance trust," said Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "Through greater understanding we can ensure a peaceful and stable future not only for Hawaii and the Pacific, but also for the world."

The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) will be hosting the Chinese ships this weekend, and also conduct dialogues to build confidence and mutual understanding between the two nations.

Rear Adm. Williams reportedly continued to stress the importance of these exchanges, as he continued through his welcoming remarks.

"Here in Hawaii, we are committed to doing our part to build regional stability," he said. "Working with other nations in the Asia-Pacific we can develop increased understanding to deal with common challenges in this region including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, piracy prevention and search and rescue missions."

Williams also stressed the importance of training in this area, building their future together and strengthening operational proficiency like the search-and-rescue drill.

"We're including a search and rescue exercise that includes maneuvers," he said. "We're going to have helicopters working together and working the airspace deconfliction, and we're going to be doing small boat operations back and forth, to all the ships, holding communication drills."

The last port visit by PLA(N) ships to Pearl Harbor was in September of 2006. Engagements such as this port visit, offer the U.S Navy an opportunity

to build a positive and constructive relationship with the Chinese navy while encouraging multilateral cooperation, enhancing transparency and mitigating risk.

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