Published on: Friday, August 23, 2013
The vessel named after the great navigator Zheng He, left the Sepanggar Naval Base Thursday with the send-off given by Capt Mohd Fadzli Kamal Mohd Mohaldin, Chief of Staff Naval Region 2, Cmdr Mohamad Hasli Abu Hassan, Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief staff officer in charges of operations (Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan) and senior officers joined by Snr Col Chen Wei, military, naval and air attachŽ of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kuala Lumpur and senior officers.
Chen Wei thanked the Malaysian and Sabah governments for making the historical visit possible and the hospitality shown by the people of Sabah and ground handler, Ma Zhong Friendship Association of Sabah which facilitated and organised the visit.
Ma Zhong Friendship Association of Sabah secretary Steven Liaw Chee Kok who is also the chief coordinator for the visit hoped the crew would return to Malaysia for holidays with their families.
Impressed with Sabah, the visitors hoped to make a return while showing appreciation to the authorities for making the visit possible.
Liaw also hoped in future, the RMN could reciprocate a similar visit to China.
He said the group was confident that more Chinese naval vessels will make port call in Sabah.
The visit by Zheng He from Aug 18-22, was made in conjunction with the continuing military exchanges between Malaysia and China.
Zheng He is the first naval ocean-going training ship designed and manufactured by China.
The ship has visited over 26 countries and over 30 ports.
The maiden voyage to Sabah was led by Rear Admiral Jiang Guoping, Superintendent of the Dalian Naval Academy, where the ship is based.