Welcome ceremony by PLA(N) personnel and their military band for RSS Intrepid at Qingdao Naval Jetty / photo: gov.sg

Singapore Navy’s port call in Qingdao reaffirms defence ties with China

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Formidable-class frigate, RSS Intrepid, is making a port call in Qingdao, China from 23 to 26 April 2017.

Senior-Captain Li Jun, Chief of Training Division of the Staff Department, North Sea Fleet from People’s Liberation Army (Navy) welcomed Senior-Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) Tan Bian, Deputy Commander (Navy) of the Officer Cadet School, Lieutenant Colonel Leon Chua, Commanding Officer for RSS Intrepid, and the RSS Intrepid to Qingdao Naval Base / photo: gov.sg

In the afternoon yesterday, RSS Intrepid hosted Chinese public on board the frigate in celebration of the PLA(N)’s 68th anniversary.

RSS Intrepid hosted the Chinese public on board the frigate / photo: gov.sg

During the port call, Colonel David Foo, Commanding Officer 171 Squadron, called on PLA(N)’s Rear-Admiral Bai Yaoping, Deputy Chief of Staff, North Sea Fleet, and will call on Rear-Admiral Wang Yu, Commandant of Naval Submarine Academy on 24 April.

Colonel David Foo calling on PLA(N)’s Rear-Admiral Bai Yaoping / photo: gov.sg

The port call will also see an exchange of ship visits between the personnel of the two navies. RSS Intrepid will host a reception and a visit for personnel from the PLA(N). The crew of RSS Intrepid will also visit the Chinese Type 054A frigate Yancheng. In addition, both ships will conduct a passage exercise comprising maritime security drills and practise the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

Such regular professional interactions and strong people-to-people ties are testament to the warm and friendly bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and China, which has made steady progress since the Four-Point Consensus agreed between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Chinese Minister of National Defense General Chang Wanquan in November 2014, the government’s press release stated.

Senior-Lieutenant Colonel Tan Bian said at the 68th anniversary celebrations, “I hope that … our navies can contribute this spirit of building friendships and cooperation into the years ahead, to work towards forging an inclusive and stable security framework for the region.”

“The RSN is also looking forward to PLA(N)’s participation in the International Maritime Review as part of RSN’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in May 2017,” he added.

RSS Intrepid is presently on a four-week Midshipman Sea Training Deployment (MSTD) from 15 April to 13 May 2017. RSS Intrepid will make a further port call at Laem Chabang, Thailand from 5 to 8 May 2017 before returning back to Singapore.

The port calls, conducted as part of the MSTD training, allow the midshipmen to interact with personnel of other navies and aid in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the RSN and its foreign counterparts, the press release said.