Chinese Rear Admiral Liang Yang, who used to be the first commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Support Base in Djibouti, was awarded the Independence Day Medal at commander level, Djibouti's highest honor, on December 7, according to an official release published by China Military Online on Thursday.
It's the first time that the highest level medal has been awarded to a foreign garrison commander, says the official release.
At the awarding ceremony, Djibouti's Ambassador to China Abdullah Miguil read out the order of the country's President Ismail Omar Guelleh. On behalf of the President, Ambassador Abdullah Miguil awarded the Independence Day Medal at the commander level to Rear Admiral Liang Yang. According to the ambassador, during Liang Yang's tenure in Djibouti, Liang had vigorously engaged in the organization of joint exercises and training, provision of medical services for the local people, and donation of teaching equipment to local schools, which forged profound friendship with Djibouti's government and people and greatly contributed to the close ties between the two countries and militaries. The ambassador hoped that both sides can continue to strengthen interaction and friendly cooperation in the future.
Rear Admiral Liang Yang said that as a witness to the friendly relations between China and Djibouti, he felt extremely honored. He believed that the honor of the award today embodied the profound friendship between the two militaries and also looked forward to greater development of the bilateral ties. Liang currently services as an incumbent commander at a PLA naval base.
The Independence Day Medal of the Republic of Djibouti was inaugurated on June 27, 1977. Three levels are set for this honor, and the commander level ranks the highest, which is generally approved and awarded by the President to domestic citizens or servicemen, or foreign senior military and political officials who have made outstanding contributions to Djibouti, according to China Military Online.