The Government-controlled Xinhua news agency of China disseminated the following news on August 30,2010:
“The 5th Escort Task group of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)- Navy, made up of two warships — “Guanhzhou” and “Caohu” — made a friendly call at Myanmar Yangon’s Thilawa Port Sunday (August 29 ) afternoon.
“It was also the first time for Chinese naval warship to have called at Myanmar port.
“The five-day mission is aimed at promoting friendly relationships between the two armed forces of the two countries and exchange between the two navies.
“A grand ceremony was launched to welcome the Chinese warships amid rain, attended by Major Han Sein, Commander of Myanmar Navy Dockyard Base, Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Ye Dabo and other embassy officials as well as representatives of Chinese companies, teachers and students based in Myanmar and local Chinese residents totaling about 200.
“After the ceremony, the warships were open to the visitors for viewing.
“During the call, the Chinese PLA escort task group will launch a series of exchanges with the Myanmar navy.
“Myanmar is the fourth country that the 5th Chinese PLA escort task group called on after completing its escort missions in Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somali coast.
“Prior to Myanmar, the escort task group had called on Egypt, Italy and Greece.”
My comment: Why the two ships did not make a port call in Sri Lanka?
( The writer, Mr B.Raman, is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: email@example.com).