ACCRA– The 28th Escort Task Group of the Chinese Navy has arrived in Tema port, located less than 430 kilometres east of here, to begin a series of exchange programmes with their Ghanaian counterparts.

While in Ghana, the visitors will make a donation to the Naval Base Primary School in Tema, hold a joint sea military exercise with their Ghanaian counterparts as well as participate in joint sports and other activities.

Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Shi Ting Wang, who was at the port to greet the arrival of the Group Monday, said China-Ghana relations had reached an impressive level of co-operation and understanding while bilateral military exchanges had made considerable progress as an important part of bilateral ties.

He added that with both countries enthusiastic defenders of world peace, the strengthening of co-operation and trust in the military field between the two countries was of positive significance to safeguarding world peace.

“I hope that the two sides would grasp the opportunity of this visit, to promote the development of relations between the two Armed Forces and countries, and to also make greater contributions to safeguarding world peace,” the Chinese Ambassador said.

The Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Obed Akwa, who welcomed the Group on behalf of Defence Minister Dominic Ntiwul, said the complex nature of maritime security made it necessary for nations to co-operate. “Recent unfortunate incidents of attacks in our waters give credence to the need to train and build capacity to deal with these threats,” he added.

He said the fact that Ghana was one of the few countries chosen by the Chinese fleet for the visit, showed how the Chinese cherished Ghana’s friendship, adding, “certainly a new frontier in Sino-Ghanaian relations is being opened today with this inaugural visit of the Chinese naval ships”.

The Group is commanded by Wu Dongzhu, and ends its visit on Friday, June 8.