Chinese military flotilla visits Cuba for first time ever

Three Chinese naval ships arrived in Cuba on Nov. 10 on a 5-day visit to mark the 55th anniversary of bilateral relations, the first time a military flotilla of China coming to the island.

(Soundbite) Wang Jianxun, Commander of Chinese Fleet
“It is a great pleasure today that I lead the Chinese fleet to pay a friendly visit to Cuba on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationships between China and Cuba. It is of great significance as it is the first time that a Chinese military flotilla visits your honorable country.”

More than 800 staff members of the fleet were warmly received at the port of Havana by their Cuban counterparts and Chinese diplomats.

(Soundbite) Zhang Tuo, Chinese Ambassador to Cuba
“It’s not only a brilliant part of a series of celebrating activities for the 55th anniversary of the bilateral ties, but a faithful reflection of the friendly feeling and fraternity between both countries.”

According to official figures, since December of 2008, China has sent over 20 escort fleets to the Gulf of Aden and the marine area of Somalia for the sake of peace maintenance and friendly exchange.

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