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Reciprocal visit: PH Navy joining China fleet review

/ 05:30 AM January 23, 2019

CHINA ENTRY Chinese-guided missile frigate Handan docks at South Harbor in Manila on Jan. 17 for a four-day goodwill visit. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

The Philippine Navy is finalizing details of its participation in the China People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) fleet review in April.

According to Navy spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Zata, details like which ship to send to the fleet review and how big the Philippine Navy contingent should be were being discussed.

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The Philippine Navy’s participation in the PLA-N review was meant to reciprocate the visit over the weekend of three PLA-N ships—type-054A guided-missile frigates Wu Hu and Han Dan and the replenishment ship Dong Ping Hu in Manila.

The four-day goodwill visit was the second made by the PLA-N under President Duterte’s term. The first was on April 30, 2017, at the Sasa Wharf in Davao City.

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Naval diplomacy

Zata said the visit to the Philippines of the PLA-N contingent “underscores the continuing effort to further strengthen the relationship between our governments and navies.”

“This will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability and maritime cooperation through naval diplomacy,” Zata said.

The Philippine Navy’s participation in the PLA-N fleet review, Zata said, was “in keeping with the President’s policy in engaging not only with our traditional ally and strategic partners but other countries as well.

‘Good relations’

“The Navy, through its naval diplomacy role, maintains good relations with other countries’ navies while safeguarding our country’s maritime interests,” Zata said.

The fleet review, marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Navy’s foundation, will be held on April 23 off Qingdao City in eastern Shandong province.

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TAGS: China fleet review, Philippine Navy
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