TOULON, France, Oct. 17 (ChinaMil) -- China's 26th naval escort taskforce consisting of the guided-missile frigates Huanggang (Hull 577) and Yangzhou (Hull 578) and the comprehensive supply ship Gaoyouhu (Hull 966) arrived at a naval port in Toulon of southern France for a four-day friendly visit on October 15, 2017.
A welcoming ceremony held at the French naval port in Toulon saw hundreds of people including representatives of the French Navy, Chinese embassy staff in France, local overseas Chinese and Chinese students studying in France. The visiting Chinese naval escort taskforce opened its guided-missile frigates Huanggang and Yangzhou for public visit after the welcoming ceremony.
"Instead of taking a look of the warships from afar, I board the ship, it is really out of my expectation", said Liu Da, a Chinese student who is having doctoral studies in the Aix-Marseille Université. "The crew members are very nice and I have learned a lot about the ship from them," he said.
"I am very proud to see Chinese warships in France and wish the Sino-French relations developing better and better," said Ms Yang Jingwei, a Chinese woman living in Toulon.
China's 26th naval escort taskforce set sail for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia on April 1 this year and had completed its escort missions there on August 28. France is the fourth country the taskforce has visited following Belgium, Denmark and Britain.
During the port visit, the Chinese naval taskforce will hold joint exercises with the French Navy. Sailors of both navies will visit each other's ships and hold sports activities.