The Chinese Navy Escort Task Group (ETG) 162, comprising MSL Destroyer NANNING, MSL Frigate SANYA, and Supply Ship WEISHANHU, on Sunday visited Nigeria to strengthen bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Chi Jian Chun, said that the visitation of the Chinese envoy, scheduled for July 2 to 6, would also enhance maritime security within West Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MSL Destroyer NANNING, made the port call at Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Berth 21, while the other two ships remained at anchorage.
Chun said that the delegation from China was big with more than 700 people and three ships to Nigeria.
“The visit is to further deepen the relationship the two countries have with one another and also seek to strengthen and improve our relationship and cooperation with each other.
“This visit demonstrates the harmony and symphony between Nigeria and China,” he said.
The ambassador said that China and Nigeria would continue to work together and promote peace and harmony while also seeking ways to make contributions to the international community.
“I believe that this visit will deepen the cooperation between both countries military sector so that we can work together to overcome obstacles.
“We will continue to do more things to facilitate and promote the relationship between the two countries,” Chun said.
Also, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Joseph Akpan, said the visitation would further help to cement the relationship between the two countries.
This is “especially between the Nigerian Navy and the Chinese Navy as well as the military. This will help us fight crimes, especially in the Gulf of Guinea.
“During their period of stay, our men will be interacting, we will be having some sporting activities, exchange of momentous and gifts.
“We will also discuss the future of both navies, especially on how we can benefit from each other,” Akpan said.
The FOC added that the term called ‘sea riders’ enabled some of the Nigerian Navy personnel onboard the Chinese ship and they could also have some of their own men onboard our ship.
“This helps to foster friendship across the horizon,” Akpan said.