The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Type 052C guided-missile destroyer Xi’an (153) arrived at Toulon port, southern France on Monday morning for a five-day military exchange.
Xi’an is attached to the Navy’s 32nd Escort Taskforce.
The staff of the Chinese Embassy in France and the Consulate in Marseille, and representatives of Chinese-funded enterprises and overseas Chinese greeted the navy at the wharf.
According to the taskforce commander Zhao Weidong, official meetings, joint exercises and other events will be held as scheduled during this visit. In addition, the Chinese and French naval officers and soldiers will also visit each other’s warships and hold friendly basketball matches to promote mutual trust, cooperation and exchanges.
Yu Jinsong, Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in France, said that the visit of the destroyer Xi’an is of special significance for promoting exchanges between the Chinese and French militaries, enhancing China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, and strengthening the understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
The 32nd Chinese naval escort taskforce departed from Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province on April 4 for its four-month escort mission after the handover with the 31st Chinese naval escort taskforce on May 2. As of now, it has provided more than 100 Chinese and foreign vessels with accompanying escorts or regional escorts for security.
Yang Yimiao, China Military Online