Chinese naval delegation visits Cameroon


A Chinese Navy task group has stopped in Cameroon for the first time, as part of a continental goodwill tour that is taking in eight countries, including South Africa.

The 16th naval escort squad arrived in Douala, Cameroon, on May 30 for a four day goodwill visit, after spending several days in Nigeria where the two navies conducted anti-piracy drills.

The group is made up of the Type 054A guided missile frigate Yancheng, the Type 053H guided missile frigate Luoyang and the supply ship Taihu, with some 600 plus crew in total. The vessels were received by the Chinese ambassador to Cameroon and other military, embassy and consulate personnel.

Li Pengcheng, commanding officer of the taskforce, said that China and Cameroon enjoyed good military relations and that the two countries’ navies would conduct an anti-piracy exercise.

The guided missile frigates Yancheng and Luoyang will be open to the public during the visit to Cameroon, according to the People’s Daily.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) 16th escort force set sail from Qingdao in China on November 30 last year, taking over escort duties in the Gulf of Aden from the 15th Chinese naval task force. China began escorting vessels in December 2008 and has escorted around 5 000 Chinese and foreign ships, according to People’s Daily.

After concluding its anti-piracy escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, the 16th escort group embarked on an eight-country visit along Africa on April 24, visiting Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. After Cameroon, the task group will proceed to Angola, Namibia and South Africa.