CHINA PLA opens warships for public visits

CHINA

PLA opens warships for public visits

Xinhua

03:27, August 02, 2018

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People visit the missile destroyer Changchun of the PLA Navy in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, July 30, 2018, as the "Seaborne Assault" contest, part of the International Army Games 2018, is held there. The PLA Navy has opened four warships to the public over a three- day period, and they had already attracted thousands of visitors. (Photo: VCG)

FUZHOU, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has opened four of its major warships for members of the public to visit in Quanzhou, east China's Fujian Province.

The event, from July 30 to Aug. 1 at Port Shihu, is the largest scale public opening of warships by the PLA Navy at the same location.

The four warships are missile destroyer Changchun, corvette Quanzhou, tank landing ship Wuyishan, and amphibious dock landing ship Jinggangshan.

The hot weather did not deter members of the public from traveling afar to take a look at the PLA Navy ships. During the first two days, 14,500 people visited the ships. The number had surpassed 20,000 by noon Wednesday.

Despite huge crowds, the visits were orderly and enabled the public to experience breathtaking close-up views of the Chinese navy ships.

Cai Kai, who will soon enter the National University of Defense Technology, visited Jinggangshan. He was delighted to discover that this amphibious dock landing ship was the same type of warship featured in the film Operation Red Sea, a Chinese anti-terrorism action film.

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People visit the missile destroyer Changchun of the PLA Navy in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, July 30, 2018, as the "Seaborne Assault" contest, part of the International Army Games 2018, is held there. The PLA Navy has opened four warships to the public over a three- day period, and they had already attracted thousands of visitors. (Photo: VCG)

Jinggangshan is the second largest battleship operated by the PLA Navy.

In addition to landing operations, the vessel is capable of carrying marine corps, air forces, and medical units during non-combat military operations. Jinggangshan has taken part in Gulf of Aden escort missions and helped search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

"The Chinese navy has gone through more and more changes each year," said Wu Ying, who joined the PLA in 1978. Although retired, Wu still feels closely tied to China's armed forces.

"We have gathered powerful strength on our march to fulfill the dream of making China and the military strong," said Wu.

The predecessor of the corvette Quanzhou was built in July, 1958. During the past 60 years, it has accomplished victories in all previous combat missions and become known as the "maritime tiger."

This was the first time Quanzhou has anchored at the city it was named after.

The electronic screen on board displayed "a warm welcome to the people of Quanzhou."

Le Bo, political commissar of Quanzhou, often joined the interpreters to introduce the ship to visitors.

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People visit the amphibious dock landing ship Jinggangshan of the PLA Navy in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, July 30, 2018, as the "Seaborne Assault" contest, part of the International Army Games 2018, is held there. The PLA Navy has opened four warships to the public over a three- day period, and they had already attracted thousands of visitors. (Photo: VCG)

Le said this event will help the public know more about the national defense and showcase an open and confident navy.

This event also welcomes family members of the Chinese serving armed forces so that they better understand the daily lives of their beloved.

Huang Yating, born in the 1990's, is the first female student to graduate with honors from the PLA's naval academy in Dalian.

Inspired by her uncle and grandfather, who both served in the PLA ground forces, she has dreamed of serving in the PLA since childhood.

Huang, now a deputy observation and communications officer, has been serving aboard Jinggangshan for three years.

"Being part of the navy, our duty, life, and future are on the sea. Only through hard work can we embrace our dreams in the future," she said.

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