Home / China / Top Stories

Peace Ark seeks harmony on San Diego stop

By Chang Jun in San Diego | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-11-04 11:36

 Peace Ark seeks harmony on San Diego stop

Peace Ark Task Group Commander Senior Captain Guan Bailin (right) poses with Wu Xi, minister of Chinese Embassy in US (center); Captain Jose Acosta at Naval Medical Center San Diego (second from right); Captain Melanie Merrick at USNS Mercy (third from right) and senior captain Sun Tao (left) after a tour of the China PLA hospital ship (below) that arrived in San Diego on Tuesday for a five-day visit in the US. Photos by Chang Jun / China Daily

It's called Harmonious Mission 2015 and it just struck a chord in California.

The hospital ship Peace Ark, a member of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, arrived at the Port of San Diego on Tuesday morning, kicking off a five-day friendly visit to the US.

A grand welcoming ceremony, with a marching band playing the Chinese and American national anthems, was held at the wharf.

Peace Ark task group commander Senior Captain Guan Bailin, was joined by commanding officer Guo Baofeng, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in the US Wu Xi, Deputy Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles Wang Lei and ship's officers and sailors who exchanged greetings with their US counterparts.

Led by commanding officer Captain Jose Acosta of the Naval Medical Center-San Diego, the US delegation included Captain Melanie Merrick of the USNS Mercy and representatives from US military healthcare providers and the Chinese-American community.

"We are excited to visit the beautiful city of San Diego," said Guan at a reception held on deck. "This is the third stop on the Peace Ark's seven-country voyage. We have already visited Australia and French Polynesia since the ship started its mission on Sept 23."

"The Peace Ark is sailing the Pacific Ocean to advance military diplomacy, medical exchanges and cultural communications with foreign countries," said Guan, adding his ship provides free medical and humanitarian services to local residents, Chinese nationals and overseas Chinese along the route.

The US counterpart USNS Mercy has arranged comprehensive and well-rounded programs for the visiting Peace Ark, according to Minister Wu Xi.

"Hospital and hospital ship visits, research collaboration and seminars will be some of the highlights of Peace Ark's five-day stay in San Diego," she said.

Showing US officers and sailors around Peace Ark, Guan said the first Chinese hospital ship to visit to San Diego was an important component of the military exchanges.

Despite disagreements and tensions concerning issues such as South China Sea, the Peace Ark is here in the US to promote a deeper mutual understanding and enhance mutual trust between two of the world's big countries, said Guan, adding that China would continue its efforts to join with other countries to safeguard a harmonious ocean and contribute to world peace and regional stability.

During his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Sept 25, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that military-to-military ties are a vital component of China-US relations and the two sides should maintain the strong momentum in high-level military dialogue and collaboration they have established.

Captain Acosta said he was impressed by the ship, crew members and facilities and equipment onboard the Peace Ark.

"Medical service providers throughout the world belong to one family regardless of their nationalities," he said. "We are all united by the shared bond of providing safe medical treatment to our patients."

Acosta will receive the Peace Ark crew Wednesday for a visit to the Naval Medical Center.

"We need to better understand each other and learn from best medical practices," he said. "I can see only a growth in future bilateral exchanges between our hospitals. "

The fifth Harmonious Mission carried out by the Peace Ark this year, the hospital ship in 2010 completed its first overseas deployment and was sent to Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Bangladesh to provide medical treatment to residents.



Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349