From September 2015 to January 2016, the Peace Ark, a hospital ship of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, carried out Mission Harmony-2015. The voyage saw the ship visit Australia, French Polynesia and the United States for military diplomacy, medical and cultural exchanges.
It also visited Mexico, Barbados, Grenada and Peru to offer people there free clinical and humanitarian services. Crew and medical staff on the vessel had memorable experiences during the mission.
From October 7 to 11, 2015, the Peace Ark carried out a five-day friendship visit to Brisbane. It was the naval ship’s first visit to Australia.
On October 8, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey received Guan Bolin, head of the mission.
The good deeds of the Peace Ark demonstrated the Chinese navy’s concept of a “peaceful ocean” and dedication to humanitarian services around the world, said de Jersey. The news was posted on his Facebook page to let people know the Peace Ark was in town.
The ship had two consecutive open days. Personnel from the Australian army, navy, and air force, police and the general public all came aboard. Some of the visitors drove all the way from Melbourne and Sydney. The ship received nearly 1,000 people each day, far exceeding the estimated 100 visitors a day.
Seven Australian medical experts came aboard on October 7, including Dr David Hansen, chair of the Health Informatics Society of Australia. They discussed topics including disaster rescue and care of burns patients with Chinese experts.
It was regrettable that they had not met earlier, said Hansen, remarking that the discussion was very helpful and that Australian and Chinese medical personnel should establish a deeper relationship.
Almost 100 Chinese medical personnel from three groups on the Peace Ark visited local health agencies, including Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley medical center, the Army Malaria Institute, and the army's Soldier Recovery Centre, for face-to-face exchanges with Australian counterparts.