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Chinese Navy vessels on maiden visit to Finland

Three Chinese vessels docked in Helsinki Friday morning as part of the navy’s first visit to Finland. The contingent is in a six-month tour of seven different countries. Members of the public will have a chance to tour the vessels on Sunday.

The vessels and crew received a warm welcome in Helsinki. Image: Juha Kivioja / Yle

The navy vessels were greeted at Helsinki’s West Harbour by a small group of Chinese well wishers waving small flags. They were later joined by another group carrying larger flags in honour of the visit.

The three-ship detachment from the Chinese navy includes the missile destroyer Jinan, the missile frigate Yiyang and a Qiandaohu-class carrier. The ships are on a six-month official tour that is taking them to the ports of seven countries.

The navy vessels arrived in Helsinki from Copenhagen in Denmark and will continue to Stockholm afterwards. Before the friendly tour the ships were in the service of the United Nations, providing escort services for merchant vessels plying the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

Completed at the end of 2014, the 132-metre-long Jinan and the 134-metre Yiyang are the Chinese Navy’s newest acquisitions. The 178-metre Qiandaohu carrier is a much older vessel, having been commissioned in 2004.

Members of the public curious to see the vessels will be allowed on board at the West Harbour’s Melkki Quay on Sunday between 10am and 4pm.

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