|PLAN Zhenghe arriving in Taranto, Italy|
The Chinese PLAN training ship Zhenghe has arrived at the Italian Naval Base in Taranto on a five day visit. The traditional naval and diplomatic courtesies were exchanged on arrival. This is the first European port call for the training vessel on its around-the-world voyage. She is commanded by the Deputy Chief of Staff of PLAN.
The PLAN Zhenghe started its five month voyage at Dalian in northeast China and will pay port calls to 11 countries covering more than 30,000 nautical miles. It is quite unusual for a naval vessel to make such a long passages on their own but the PLAN Zhenghe is sailing unescorted.
As the situation in Somalia deteriorates and spreads the plight of 5the nearly 600 of our fellow seafarers being held as hostages by pirates grows steadily worse they continue to face mutilation and death every day.