BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's hospital ship, the Peace Ark, set sail Thursday for a typhoon relief mission to the Philippines.
The 300-bed ship with eight operating rooms sounded its horn as it set off from a navy port on Zhoushan island in east China's Zhejiang Province. It is expected to take three days to reach the devastated Samar Province in the Philippines.
The medical team will conduct first aid and outpatient treatment and perform surgery and epidemic prevention. The vessel is also carrying tents, mobile kitchens, commuter boats and helicopters for medical care.
This is the first time China has sent a military vessel to provide humanitarian medical aid in disaster-hit regions abroad, said navy commander Wu Shengli, who attended the departure ceremony.
The mission is an important task to implement the concepts of peace, cooperation, and development as promoted by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Xi Jinping, chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, Wu said.
The medical vessel just finished a 125-day visit, named "Mission Harmony 2013," to eight Asian countries and the Gulf of Aden. The vessel also participated in the rescue of fishermen in waters off the Xisha Islands as it returned home.
Over the past five years, the "Peace Ark" has carried out three major overseas missions to Asia, Africa and Latin America, providing free medical aid to more than 50,000 people.
Chinese aid pours into Philippines' typhoon-hit areas
MANILA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's aid has kept pouring into hardest-hit areas in central Philippines as death toll and cost of damages by super typhoon "Haiyan," locally named "Yolanda," spiral.
The 73 million pesos (or 10 million Chinese yuan) worth of relief goods, which included 10,000 blankets and 2,600 tents, each capable of housing 6-10 people, arrived in Cebu city, a disaster relief distribution center, on Monday and Tuesday respectively and had been turned over to the Philippine side, Chinese embassy in Manila said Wednesday in a press release. Full story