DILI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Navy hospital ship "Ark Peace" arrived at Dili on Thursday for a friendly visit and humanitarian medical services to Timor-Leste.
This is the first time for the ship "Ark Peace" to visit the Southeast Asian island country, and the second time for Chinese naval vessels.
Guided by Timor-Leste's naval ships, this huge movable hospital with 300-beds and over 14,000 tonnage slowly sailed into the Dili Port.
Local people wearing national costumes gave a warm welcome ceremony to the hospital ship. Over 500 representatives, including Defence and Security Minister of Timor-Leste Agostinho Somotxo and Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste Liu Hongyang, attended the ceremony.
In his welcoming speech, Somotxo said the arrival of "Ark Peace" has brought health and hope to the people of this country. The visit also enhances bilateral cooperation and friendship between Timor-Leste and China, he said.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army has rich experiences in humanitarian aids and disaster rescue operations, Timor-Leste and China could further deepen cooperation in these fields, the minister said.
Echoing Somotxo's remarks, Liu said the arrival of "Ark Peace" would deepen friendship, strength mutual understanding and expand bilateral cooperation between the two nations during its eight-day visit.
During its stay, "Ark Peace" will offer free medical treatments for a mass of local people including veterans and villagers.
On July 26 this year, "Ark Peace" set sail from Zhoushan Port, China to carry out the task of "Harmony Mission-2017". It arrived in Timor-Leste after sailing for 141 days and visiting seven African countries, including Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania. Timor-Leste is the last leg of its mission.
Since 2008, "Peace Ark" has visited over 30 countries and provided free medical services for over 170,000 people.