The 25th Task Group of the People’s Liberation Army – Navy conducted a port visit to Sydney between 8-11 June.
The Task Group is on return from a counter-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden.
The Task Group consisting of two guided missile frigates, Hengyang and Yulin, and one replenishment ship Hongh, were led into Sydney Harbour by HMAS Melbourne following exercises off the New South Wales coast. These exercises included ship manoeuvres, communications and boat drill exercises.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, said the two navies undertake a regular program of reciprocal ship visits as part of an ongoing international engagement.
“The Chinese Navy and the Royal Australian Navy conduct these exercises in an effort to enhance mutual understanding, facilitate transparency and build trust,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“Activities such as this provide both countries with an opportunity to operate in close proximity and increase their knowledge of each other’s operating procedures.”
This visit by the 25th Task Group follows a successful visit by HMAS Ballarat to Zhanjiang, China in April 2017.
Australia has built a productive bilateral defence relationship with China based on senior level dialogues, working level exchanges and practical exercises.