China warships to call on Penang port

By Opalyn Mok
China Consul-general to Penang Wu Jun hands over a letter on the warships’ visit to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, May 4 — In a historic act, three Chinese warships will call on a Penang port next Friday to improve bilateral and military relations between China and Malaysia, an official from China announced today.

China Consul-General to Penang Wu Jun, who paid a courtesy visit to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at Komtar today, said this would be the first time the warships called at a Penang port.

“This is a very historic and proud moment for both China and Malaysia as it also signifies a good relationship between our naval forces,” he said in a press conference at Lim’s office today.

Wu said the warships will be open for the public to visit when it is berthed at North Butterworth Container Terminal on May 14.

The three warships that will be arriving at the Butterworth port on May 12 are destroyer CNS Changchun Type 052C, frigate CNS Jingzhou Type 054A, and replenishment ship CNS Chaohu Type 903.

“The frigate coming here will have about 600 crew members and they are on an Asian tour of 20 countries,” he said.

He added that the visit was planned since last year as part of China’s efforts to promote better international relations with countries in Asia.

According to China Commercial Consul Gong You Ying, China warships have stopped in Malaysia on several occasions previously.

“This is the first time this frigate came to Penang,” she said.

Prior to Penang, the three warships were in Davao, Philippines. They will stop in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before making their way here.