For the first time, a Chinese naval ship has traveled to Venezuela, following the visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing earlier this month, where he had asked China’s leadership for economic support following the collapse of its economy, said Channel NewsAsia.
The naval medical ship, known as the “Peace Ark,” had moored on Saturday at the port of La Guaira near the Venezuelan capital.
#PICTURES | Hospital ship “Peace Ark” arrived in the port of La Guaira to consolidate cooperation and friendship ties between 🇨🇳 & 🇻🇪 as well as medical and academic exchange with this sisterly Asian Power#BuquesDePaz pic.twitter.com/dDKld3Ft5R
— Foreign Affairs 🇻🇪 (@MFAVenezuela) September 22, 2018
Maduro, whose socialist government is facing a severe backlash in Venezuela as the economy continues to collapse with the fifth year of depression and hyperinflation, visited Beijing earlier this month. China’s government promised to aid the country but did not make public if any new loans were issued.
In the last decade, China has provided Venezuela will billions of dollars in credit, in particular, the oil-for-loan program that helped China secure cheap energy supplies for its fast pace economy while also supporting an anti-Washington movement in Latin America.
According to Maduro, the “Peace Ark” will be moored in Venezuela for a little more than a week. During the visit, Chinese and Venezuelan officials will host several meetings and inspect medical facilities in the country.
Hospital ship “Ark of Peace” (He Ping Fang Zhoude) of the People’s Republic of China up to the Port of La Guaira, Vargas state.#RumboAlMillon #BuquesDePaz https://t.co/FtcFGq3HeW #Venezuela 🇻🇪 🇨🇳 pic.twitter.com/vM6HXfsCE2
— Cuerpo Combatiente 2K (@CCPDVSAGASANACO) September 23, 2018
The “Peace Ark” had received warm greetings from Venezuela’s top military officials.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, who welcomed the hospital ship, told the sailors: “This is how you undertake diplomacy in the world… with concrete actions of cooperation and not stoking the false voices of those who beat the drum of war.”
He later tweeted the visit was a manifestation of “true diplomacy of peace”