As usual with the PRC -PLAN this announcement comes two days after the event. After transiting the Panama Canal and refuelling at the Pacific side the PRC PLAN training ship PLAN Zheng He headed off towards it home port of Dalian, China - or did it ? The announcement says that the PLAN Zheng He crossed the equator at a speed of 17 knots at 1736 July 11, 2012 from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.
The vessel has sailed to Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea a voyage so far of some 17,000 nautical miles. NAUTICAL LOG is quite sure they know how to navigate excellently and also that China is to the north from the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. So where are they going ? Well that is the question as the Press Release gave no further information about the destination or destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.
To quote from history "the world wonders". As usual the PRC -PLAN is not giving any advance notice of its intentions though any planned Port-of-call must be aware of the vessels arrival. It might be an idea to refuse entry to this PLAN training ship as a reminder to PRC to watch its international nautical manners.
At the present time the PRC is not too popular with the seafaring world due to its aggressive and under International Laws illegal behaviour in the South China Sea and the East China Sea which despite their names are International Waterways with full right of innocent passage to any vessel which should not be subjected to being closely followed, harassed, questioned or boarded by any Agency of the PRC particularly the China Maritime Surveillance (CMS) armed vessels.