A Chinese navy ship has docked at the Tema Port on a goodwill visit to the country.
The visit of the 43rd Escort Task Group (ETG 162) of the Chinese Army Navy is to strengthen the relations between the two countries and to reinforce the ties between the Chinese and Ghanaian Navies.
The four-day working visit to Ghana also comes with some humanitarian works the officers and men aboard the naval ship intend to embark on while in the country.
The visit of 43rd Escort Task Group (ETG 162) coincides with the 63rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ghana and China.
Addressing a welcome ceremony at the Tema Port in Accra last Tuesday, the Deputy Minister of Defence, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, emphasised that the military relationship between the Ghana Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army has seen enormous results.
He said the visit by the task group had presented another opportunity to further enhance the relationship between the two countries and existing partnership between China and Ghana.
Broader defence cooperation
Mr Amankwa-Manu said a broader defence cooperation was important in the face of the deteriorating security conditions within the West African sub-region and added that enhanced security cooperation in the maritime domain would also help address some of the maritime security threats.
“Contemporary threats to security such as terrorism, violent extremism, climate change, pandemics and epidemics can only be addressed through cooperation and collaboration with each other,” he noted.
He said another important aspect of an enhanced China-Ghana defence cooperation was information and intelligence sharing and capable platforms could help in gathering and sharing real-time intelligence.
That, he added, could easily be achieved with China’s sophistication and advancement in technology, among others.
Threat of terrorism
The deputy minister asserted that the threat of terrorism, violent extremism, maritime insecurity, among others, had become major issues within the West African security environment, hence, the need to cooperate and collaborate to fight those threats.
“Also, with most Chinese businesses flourishing in Ghana, it is important for both parties to collaborate and ensure that a safe and secure business environment is created for the benefit of both parties within the framework of contributing to global peace and security,” he said.
For his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Lu Kun, said the 43rd Chinese naval escort task force set sail for the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia from a military port in Zhanjiang city, southeast China’s Guangdong province, on the morning of January 10, 2023.
Bravery and loyalty
He said during the past six months, they had performed their duty with bravery and loyalty, overcome challenges with high morale and had successfully accomplished the escort missions in the Gulf of Aden.
They have also evacuated Chinese nationals from Sudan, fulfilled the international humanitarian obligations and protected the international sea lines.
The Ambassador said that was a demonstration China was a responsible major country and PLA Navy was an open and confident force. He therefore commended them for their courage, dedication and outstanding achievements.