Saturday, October 18, 2008

South African navy ship makes first visit to China

BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The SAS SPIOENKOP, a warship from the South African Navy, will arrive in Shanghai Thursday. The trip marks a milestone in Sino-African relations as the first African Navy ship is to pay an official visit to China.

The SAS SPIOENKOP, headed by Captain Christopher Manig, will be docked in east China's financial hub for five days.

"Commanding the SAS SPIOENKOP, on this historical visit to China, is a great personal honor in that we have followed in the footsteps of the great Chinese seafarer Zheng He, who serves as an inspiration to Navy officers all around the world," Manig said.

The ship's visit is part of a year-long celebration honoring 10 years of China-South African diplomatic ties.

Commenting on the historic voyage, Captain Manig said, "The South African Navy is extremely proud and honored to pay this first official visit to China and we are looking forward to interacting with our friends and colleagues in the Chinese navy."

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