…with the arrival of the 28th Escort Task Group of the Chinese Navy
With the arrival of the 28th Escort Task Group (ETG 546) of the Chinese Navy, Ghana’s Navy is expected to engage in bilateral military exercise with them.
At the welcome ceremony of the visit of the ETG 546, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang said this first engagement of the Chinese Naval ETG 546 will open a new chapter in history of the friendly exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese and Ghanaian military forces.
The ETG 546 will from June 4 to 8, engage in series of exchange activities including high-level meetings, mutual military facilities tours, and joint military exercise at sea, among others.
This is to promote Ghana-China relations to a higher level, Wang said.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Obed B. Akwa noted that the long standing economic ties have been expanded to include defence cooperation.
In 2016 bilateral trade volume with China reached US$ 5.9 billion, ranking sixth largest trading partner China in Africa.
China is also one of major countries to invest in Ghana, and projects aided, invested, or financed by China involve important fields of Ghana’s national welfare and people’s livelihood.
The engagement has further moved into providing support to Ghana’s participation in various African peacekeeping missions, including a grant to purchase vehicles, the sale of several Chinese fighter jets and the rehabilitation of Ghanaian military buildings.
Some military project engaged by the Chinese government includes the construction of the Ministry of Defence office complex as well as the Ghana Armed Forces Barrack, known as the Beijing Barracks.
Last year, the Chinese government donated four boats to the Ghana Navy, which has enhanced the operational capability in the country’s littoral waters.
Citing some recent incidents of attacks in Ghanaian waters, the Minister said, the ever complex nature of maritime security has brought to the fore the need to cooperate, to train and build capacity to deal with these threats.
He indicated that Ghana is one of the few countries chosen to be visited by the fleet, which shows a new frontier in Sino-Ghanaian relationship.
Nitiwul said the two navies would embark on some training activities to learn from each other.
By Joshua W. Amlanu