The first call to Malta by a Chinese navy task force will take place next week when two frigates and a supply vessel enter the Grand Harbour for a five-day visit.
The Huangshan and the Hengshan and the replenishment ship Qinghaihu are expected in on Tuesday morning with a total crew of 787. They will be the guests of the Armed Forces of Malta.
Under the command of Rear Admiral Li Xiaoyan, Deputy Chief of Staff of China‚Äôs South Sea Fleet, the task force has just concluded a four-month anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, providing security escort to thousands of civilian and commercial vessels of various nationalities including Maltese.
The naval units will be berthed at Pinto Wharf and will be open to the public for viewing between 9am and noon in the morning on Wednesday and between 2 and 5pm on Thursday.
Urging the public to give a warm welcome to the Chinese mariners, Reno Calleja, chair-man of the Malta-China Friendship Society said: ‚ÄúThis is the best way to demonstrate friendship.‚Äù