Philippine Navy (PN) chief Vice Adm. Toribio Adaci Jr. expressed hope the current visit in Manila by a Chinese naval task force will result in more “goodwill and understanding” between the two navies.
He made this statement following the courtesy call of Rear Adm. Su Yinsheng, political commissar of People’s Liberation Army PLA) Dalian Naval Academy, at the PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Wednesday.
“Our engagements during your visit will help develop goodwill and understanding between our two navies,” Adaci said in a statement forwarded to reporters Thursday. He then invited them to visit and explore Manila as majority of the Chinese contingent are first-timers here.
Su is also the commander of the PLA Navy task force consisting of the training ship Qi Jiguang (83) which is now docked at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila for a four-day port call that started on Wednesday and will conclude on Saturday.
The Chinese naval official said he was greatly honored to meet Adaci and hoped “that the visit of Qi Jiguang will help develop the two navies’ friendship and mutual trust.”
Su also mentioned that China and the Philippines are long-time friends and that the engagements between the two countries extend to many aspects, including economic ties.
Adaci also extended his advance congratulations to the graduating cadets on board the training ship. “I hope these small engagements, the goodwill games, and receptions will provide an avenue for our sailors to better understand one another,” he added.
Earlier, the PN welcomed the Chinese training ship as it docked at South Harbor, Manila. A meeting procedure was earlier rendered by BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17) upon the visiting ship’s approach to Manila Bay.
“This arrival has kicked off the four-day goodwill visit of the Chinese Navy to the Philippines that includes interactions with Filipino counterparts such as friendly games, shipboard tours, and reciprocal receptions,” PN spokesperson Captain Benjo Negranza said.
A passing exercise (PASSEX) between Qi Jiguang and a designated PN vessel is expected to conclude the visit on June 17. Their port call in Manila is part of the training ship’s regional tour that also includes stops in Vietnam, Thailand, and Brunei.
The last time Chinese Navy vessels arrived in the country was in 2019 when PLA Navy’s Escort Task Group 539 composed of three vessels conducted a five-day goodwill visit to the Philippines.
“The PN’s accommodation of its visiting counterparts follows the naval tradition that has helped sustain and enhance naval diplomacy toward understanding and cooperation through the years,” Negranza said.