A photo taken on Aug. 19,2018 shows the visiting Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace at Port of Nukualofa, Tonga. (Photo: VCG)
SUVA, Aug. 20 -- The Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace, which is on Mission Harmony - 2018, departed on Monday from Port of Nukualofa after ending an eight-day goodwill visit and medical service in Tonga.
At a farewell ceremony on the wharf, Tongan Minister of Internal Affairs Losaline Ma'asi, Minister of Education Penisimani Fifita, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga Wang Baodong, local citizens as well as overseas Chinese and members of the Chinese medical aid team to Tonga came to bid farewell.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and Tonga. During the visit, the commanders of Mission Harmony - 2018 paid courtesy calls on Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and some government ministers.
Over 20 VIPs from the Tongan side, including her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita, Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika, boarded the ship for tour, physical examination or medical treatment.
Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita joined a deck reception and visited the medical staff and local patients. She wrote on the message book: "Ark Peace's visit is the symbol of friendship between the two peoples and your care and assistance to the people of Tonga are appreciated."
During the stay, Ark Peace fulfilled consultation and treatment for 5,532 persons, conducted auxiliary examinations for 2,598 persons, hospitalized 28 inpatients and performed 34 surgeries.
Ark Peace deployed six batches of medical teams, totaling 49 persons, at a local hospital and community health centers for joint medical service while conducting all-weather consultation and treatment on the major platform onboard. The rescue helicopter carrying a medical team was dispatched to the island of EUA, delivering medical services to 337 villagers on the island.
Ark Peace, which is currently heading for Papeete of French Polynesia for technical berthing, will visit the countries in Central and South America.