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Breaking New Ground: China's Navy Tours Scandinavian Countries

© AP Photo / Guang Niu, PoolChinese Navy warships
Chinese Navy warships - Sputnik International
Three naval ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), a missile destroyer, a missile frigate, and a replenishment ship, visited Denmark, Finland, and Sweden in the past two weeks on goodwill visits.

By paying a visit to Northern Europe, modern Chinese warships demonstrate versatile technical capabilities, as well as China's interest in the Arctic region, website The Diplomat reported.

According to China’s Ministry of Defense, PLAN Fleet 152 is on a “round-the-globe voyage” after finishing up a four-month anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

On their way home, the Chinese naval fleet decided to ‘drop by’ for a visit to Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. The countries were the third, fourth, and fifth stops (respectively) for the fleet, led by the guided-missile destroyer Jinan. The first two stops were Sudan and Egypt.

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IHS Jane’s Navy International provided additional details on the three vessels, identifying them as “the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Jinan (152), the Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate Yiyang (548), and the Type 903 Fuchi-class replenishment ship Qiandao Hu (886).”

Jinan and Yiyang are among the PLAN’s most modern ships, having been completed in late 2014. The Qiandao, meanwhile, was commissioned a decade earlier, in 2004; The Diplomat reported citing Finland’s YLE News.

The fleet is currently in Sweden and plans to spend five days there, after having arrived there on September 30.

Wang Jianxun, the fleet commander and general commander of the Jinan, said that “We are going to have signatory visits and organize cultural and sports activities. The ships will be open to the public, [and] the Chinese naval servicemen and their Swedish counterparts will visit each other,” The Diplomat reported.

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