DALIAN, Apr 17 – The Chinese navy on Monday sent a training vessel to conduct the country’s second global goodwill voyage, 10 years after the first such trip.
The “Zhenghe,” named after a famed Chinese maritime explorer who sailed overseas about 600 years ago, started its journey from the port city of Dalian in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
The goodwill voyage is aimed at promoting friendship and exchanges with the rest of the world in order to promote “harmony on oceans,” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Commander Wu Shengli said at a seeing-off ceremony for the voyage.
The vessel is carrying a total of 308 sailors, including 110 students from the Dalian Naval Academy. Wu said the voyage marks the first time for the PLA Navy to send students on a goodwill voyage.
The vessel will visit ports in 11 countries, including Vietnam, India, Italy, Spain, Canada, Ecuador and Indonesia, covering more than 30,000 nautical miles.
During the five-month voyage, students from naval academies in 13 countries will be invited onboard and participate in maritime training sessions with Chinese students.
The Zhenghe went into service 25 years ago and has clocked more than 280,000 nautical miles since.