The Navy has continued to build relationships in the Pacific, welcoming a visit from a Chinese warship to Brisbane earlier this month.
Warships from the Chinese People's Liberation Army – (Navy) Taskforce 152 docked in the port of Brisbane recently as part of a Pacific tour of deployment to project Chinese regional power in the Pacific.
Guided missile destroyer Jinan, Guided missile frigate Yiyang and the supply ship Qindaohu completed manoeuvres with Navy frigate HMAS Darwin off the coast of Queensland prior to the Brisbane visit.
PLA-N task group Commander Senior Captain Wang was greeted by Commander Peter Tedman and Lieutenant Commander Craig Flynn, executive officer of Navy Headquarters South Queensland on arrival.
Members of the Chinese Consulate and Chinese expatriate community were on hand to witness an impressive display of traditional Chinese pageantry and dancing to mark the visit.
Lieutenant Commander Craig Flynn said the Chinese Navy task group had been exercising throughout the region and had also been undertaking counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden before embarking on a global transit, visiting more than a dozen countries including the United States prior to docking in Brisbane.
“The visit of the Chinese Naval task group promotes interoperability between our two navies,” Lieutenant Commander Flynn said.
Hundreds of Brisbane residents were given the opportunity to view the Chinese Navy’s most modern warships. Civilians and representatives from the Australian media and the Australian Defence Force were given unprecedented access to the Chinese warships. Chinese sailors had obviously been informed of the Australian military custom of exchanging coins, badges and patches with foreign militaries and were well stocked with an array of trinkets to swap.
Sailors from the Chinese Navy later had the opportunity to visit local Australian attractions such as Australia Zoo and got the chance to go for a swim at the beach.
The Chinese Taskforce remained in dock in Brisbane for five days before sailing home to China with a short stopover in Indonesia.