By Jiang Shan and Shi Kuiji
PORT of ROSEAU, DOMINICA, Oct. 15 (ChinaMil) -- The Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark (Hull 866), which is on the "Harmonious Mission 2018," arrived at the Port of Roseau of Dominica on October 12 for an eight-day friendly visit.
This is the first visit for a Chinese naval ship to the country. Furthermore, Dominica is the 39th country visited by the Peace Ark since it was commissioned in 2008.
Dominica, located at the northeastern side of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean Sea, is the seventh stop of the "Harmonious Mission 2018". It has a population of 72,000 and the capital city is Roseau.
Dominica's President Charles Savarin and his wife held a grand welcome ceremony for the arrival of the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark at the port. They also presented a gift basket to the officers and soldiers of the Peace Ark.
The police band of Dominica played the national anthems of the two countries and local students staged a choir performance at the ceremony.
Dominica's acting Prime Minister John Collin McIntyre, Foreign Minister Francine Baron, Health Minister Kenneth Darroux, Chinese Ambassador to Dominica Lu Kun, Chinese embassy staff, local overseas Chinese, and representatives of Chinese-funded institutions attended the welcome ceremony.
Francine Baron and Kenneth Darroux warmly welcomed the visit by the Peace Ark and they said the visit will further enhance friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
The commanding officer of the "Harmonious Mission 2018" said at the welcome ceremony that during the visit, the Peace Ark, a homegrown professional hospital ship, will carry out a series of activities such as joint medical service, study visits, and medical treatment.
This visit will further deepen mutual understanding, consolidate traditional friendship, expand exchanges and cooperation, and make new contributions to deepening bilateral relations, he added.
Chinese Ambassador Lu Kun said this Chinese naval hospital ship is a ship of life, friendship and peace. It provides humanitarian medical services to meet the urgent needs of the people of developing countries, deepens the friendship between the people of China and Dominica with good wishes from the Chinese people, and reflects China's persistent pursuit of peaceful development, harmonious world and common prosperity.
After the welcome ceremony, accompanied by Lu Kun and the commanding officer of the "Harmonious Mission 2018", President Savarin and his wife boarded the Peace Ark and visited the Chinese medical staff.
Acting Prime Minister McIntyre and other political leaders of Dominica also attended these activities.