THE Republic of China/Taiwan Navy Midshipmen flooded the streets of Honiara today after the conclusion of a brief welcome ceremony at the Honiara main Port.
Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, Culture and Tourism Minister and the Honiara City Mayor were at the wharf to welcome the more than 700 navy men.
Speaking onboard flagship Pan-Shi, Mr Maelanga reiterated the strong relations the two countries enjoy.
“Solomon Islands and ROC are true friends. Our friendship is strengthened at various fronts, not only diplomatically,” he says.
He says ROC/Taiwan has supported the Solomon Islands in many ways and the annual visits by ROC’s navy squadron is a demonstration of the strong relations.
Culture and Tourism Minister Bartholomew Parapolo says while the visit is seen as official, the navy visitors are tourists to the Solomon Islands.
“You’re are our very special visitors for the next three days.”
Honiara City Mayor Andrew Mua on behalf of the City Residents welcomed the navy officers and encouraged them to make the most of the three days in Honiara.
About 742 navy officers, midshipmen and sailors are on board the three visiting warships.
The boats are the flagship Pan-Shi and two frigates, the Kung-Din and the Cheng-Ho.
The training Squadron led by Commander Rear Admiral Cheng-Kuo Chiang made landfall on Thursday evening.
This was at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government (SIG).
This is the fourteenth visit of this kind since 1984.
The Squadron also carries a lot of donating goods which includes 33,593 yards of textile, 27 medicine trolleys, 60 cartoons of tooth brush & tooth paste, 3 cartoons of hand sanitizer, 3 cartoons of ear thermometer and 60 cartoons of medical alcohol.
The Squadron’s flagship, PAN-SHI, will be opened to the public for a tour tomorrow, April 15th from 10:00am to 3:00pm.
The ROC Navy cadets will perform tattoo and martial art shows at the Art Gallery as well tomorrow.
© Solomon Fresh-Beat Online