Chinese naval hospital ship leaves Tonga for Central and South America

August 21, 2018 – The Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark (Hull 866), which is on the “Harmonious Mission 2018”, left the Port of Nukualofa, Tonga at around 10 a.m. on August 20, after completing an eight-day friendly visit and humanitarian medical service there.During the visit, medical personnel of the Peace Ark provided diagnosis and treatment for 5,532 persons and auxiliary examinations for 2,598 persons, with 13 inpatients and 14 cases of surgery.

The Tongan side hosted a warm farewell ceremony for the Peace Ark at the port, which was attended by Tongan Minister of Internal Affairs Losaline Ma’asi, Minister of Education Penisimani Fifita, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga Wang Baodong, local citizens, overseas Chinese as well as Chinese medical personnel to Tonga and representatives of the Chinese enterprises in Tonga.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Tonga. During the visit, the commander of the “Harmonious Mission 2018” paid courtesy calls on Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, Defense Minister Lord Ma’afu, Health Minister Saia Piukala, and Chief of Defense Staff of His Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF) of Tonga Lord Fielakepa. The two sides conducted frank and friendly exchanges.

Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita, Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika and other 20 leading figures of Tonga toured the Chinese Peace Ark, and had physical examination or received medical treatment.

Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita attended the deck reception and visited the medical staff and local patients and she wrote on the Guest Book, “Peace Ark’s visit is the symbol of friendship between the two nations and your care and assistance to the people of Tonga are appreciated.”

During the port call, Peace Ark deployed six batches of medical teams with a total number of 49 people at local hospitals and community health centers for joint medical service.Peace Ark also dispatched a rescue helicopter carrying a medical team to the island of EUA to provide medical service to 337 villagers on the island.

In addition, the Chinese sailors also carried out cultural networking activities with teachers and students of Tongan middle schools and held a friendly football match with counterparts of His Majesty’s Armed Forces of Tonga.

It is reported that the Peace Ark is heading for the port of Papeete in French Polynesia for a technical stop and then will continue its port calls to the countries inCentral and South America.