A rare visit from Chinese navy ships at Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Published  4:04 PM HST Sep 06, 2013
HONOLULU -

Into our ports they pull. Three Chinese navy ships have arrived at Pearl Harbor-Hickam. There was a warm aloha welcome, a keiki hula performance to a popular Chinese song for the People's Liberation Army.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams says this visit with China's navy will go a long way to easing what he calls maritime challenges.

"In order to address those challenges, it's important for us to work as partners to try and counter some of those, so whether it's humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, whether it's maritime security, and counter-piracy," said Williams.

The last port visit by Chinese navy ships was more than seven years ago.

The U.S. Navy says it hopes to have more of these visits in the future, to continue trying to create strong ties with China and other foreign countries. Chinese Rear Adm. Wai Gang says he brought 680 of his men across the Pacific in the same efforts.

"Both sides are willing to establish a new type of U.S.-China relationship based on mutual respect and double-sided cooperation," said Gang through a translator.

The cooperation will include a lot of operational drills to reinforce openness and trust between the two sides.

"We are working a search-and-rescue exercise that includes maneuvers ... and we will have small boats going back and forth to the ships," said Williams.

There will also be communication drills. The drills will take place off of Diamond Head and Waikiki.

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