Destroyer Haikou protects global waterways, China's sovereignty, builds ties with rest of the world

Source:Global Times Editor:Huang Panyue 2018-08-06

The destroyer Haikou began a three-day visit to Xiuying Port in Haikou, South China's Hainan Province in May. Students waved Chinese flags to welcome the destroyer. Photo: VCG

The slogan on the main road of a training camp for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) South China Sea Fleet reads "No fear of fierce storms, bloodshed, sacrifice or enemies."

These words represent the true life and experiences of the navy crew on the Chinese destroyer Haikou.

The destroyer's crew has recently been praised as a role model in the Navy for their tenacity and the pride they brought to the military.

The guided-missile destroyer Haikou has conducted 30 major missions including ocean escorts, international military drills and maritime rescues since it was launched in 2003.

It has also cruised the South China Sea region more than 10 times — patrolling, tracking and monitoring — in order to safeguard China's sovereignty, safety and rights.

The domestically developed type 052C guided-missile destroyer entered service in the South Sea Fleet in 2006.

Zhang Youxia, vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC), called on all military troops to learn from the destroyer Haikou to improve the nation's ability to win wars in the new era, during a symposium held at the Great Hall of the People on July 30, the PLA's flagship newspaper PLA Daily reported July 31.

Winning record

"As the country's pioneering warship, safeguarding China's maritime rights and sovereignty is our glorious mission," Fan Jigong, captain of Haikou, said at the symposium, the PLA Daily reported.

Fan recalled one of the warship's escort missions in 2009. The Haikou went to Somalia to escort a fishing boat which has been taken over by pirates for 88 days. The pirates ransacked the boat.

Navy crew on the destroyer Haikou delivered supplies, such as food, medicine, clothes and fuel to the boat and escorted it to safe waters. The crew members on the boat hung up two signs outside the cockpit, which said, "Thank you, my country" and "Thank you PLA Navy," according to Fan.

According to the PLA Daily, the Haikou crew devised strategies to deal with pirates during its maiden escort mission in the Gulf of Aden in 2008.

The warship has escorted 600 vessels from both home and aboard and rescued 10 commercial boats that were chased or hijacked by pirates.

The Haikou holds several records in maritime research and rescue in China. It has visited 12 countries and regions to show the PLA Navy's openness and confidence.

The crew on the Haikou also won international praise for its professionalism. During a joint drill, soldiers on two foreign warships missed the targets in firing test, but sailors on the Haikou hit the targets with the first two rounds.

Foreign soldiers started to shout, "Stop firing, PLA Navy, leave some targets for us." Before they got their last word out, the Chinese navy crew had sunk the remainder of the targets, Fan said.

Hometown pride

Haikou city in South China's Hainan Province has been proud of the destroyer Haikou for 15 years, when the PLA Navy named its then most advanced domestically built missile destroyer after the city. Haikou residents were thrilled when the destroyer visited the city and opened its doors to the public in May this year. Over 20,000 residents visited the warship in three days, far beyond the organizer's expectation.

"The city Haikou is a window for China's reform and opening-up, and the destroyer Haikou is a window for the world to know China," Ren Fei, an official with the Civil Affairs Bureau of Haikou, said at the symposium, the PLA Daily reported.

The sailors on the Haikou have shown great innovative ability ever since the ship started sailing, said Fan.

For example, a firing squad leader devised a new radar system, which greatly improved the defensive capability of the ship's secondary guns.

Another firing squad member reduced the preparations needed before firing by transforming the power supply system, according to people. com.cn.

 

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