Chinese Navy in London for the first time
In a speech quoting Churchill the Chinese Ambassador to the UK called for deeper links between the Chinese and British militaries.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming quoted Winston Churchill saying: "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential". He also quoted Xun Zi "Giving up halfway, one cannot even cut into rotten wood; But with unremitting efforts, one can shape metals and stones."
The ships are from 26th Chinese Navy Escort Taskforce and are calling at London from until 7 October. Over the next few days a series of events are planned, including an open day, a deck reception and professional meetings between Chinese and British navies.
In a press release from the Chinese Embassy they said they hope this visit will strengthen China-UK bilateral ties and military-to-military relations.
Frigates Huanggang (R) and Yangzhou harbor in London, UK on October, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
"I believe the visit to Britain by the 26th Chinese Navy Escort Task Force will mark a new beginning of a closer, friendly change in cooperation between the Chinese and British militaries. The frigates Huanggang and Yangzhou have already been to Belgium, Holland and Denmark as part of a tour of European ports, and are due to sail to France on Saturday."
The Ambassador said that this was a trip of firsts, the first time ever for Chinese navy ships to call at Britain's capital city, London. It's also the first time that so many British admirals and generals will attend events to be held by the Chinese Navy fleet.
During the visit the two navies will hold the first humanitarian rescue symposium.
The Ambassador went on to say that during this visit, the two navies will exchange views on a broad range of issues from anti-piracy to humanitarian rescues. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming believes such extensive engagement will help deepen the mutual trust and cooperation between our two militaries.
British Rear Admiral Alex Burton said the visit "reflects the long, strong and very common relationship that both our navies have with the sea".
"Many of the security challenges that we face are common to both of us, are common across the globe, from counter piracy to natural disasters, peacekeeping amongst many others,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
A Royal Navy warship is expected to pay a return visit to China sometime next year while deployed in the Pacific.