Hamburg- Three Chinese naval vessels with 800 sailors docked in Germany’s Hamburg harbour for the first time in history on Monday, the city’s local military office said.
Michael Setzer, the Commander of Hamburg’s Military Liaison Office, disclosed this to newsmen in Hamburg.
He said the dock landing ship, Chang Beishan, the frigate Yun Cheng and the supply ship Chao Hu were due to stay in the harbour until Saturday.
“The visit will foster mutual cultivation of friendly relations and international understanding,’’ Setzer said.
During the visit, the Chinese delegation is expected to visit an officer school in Flensburg-Muerwik, a sergeant school in Ploen and a maritime safety training centre in Neustadt.
According to the German navy, the three ships took part in a mission several weeks ago against pirates in the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia.
They were joined by EU, NATO and American units.
The Chinese vessels then journeyed through Egypt’s Suez Canal and past Gibraltar in the Mediterranean Sea to Portsmouth in the English Channel.
After Hamburg, the ships would continue their European tour in Rotterdam.
The German Navy and the city of Hamburg had extended an invitation to the Chinese Navy, whose only previous visit to Germany was in 2001 at the Wilhelmshaven naval base. (dpa/NAN)