On May 9, 2012, Chinese Ambassador to India Mr. Zhang Yan went to Kochi, Kerala to receive the visiting "Zheng He" navy training vessel of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) which is for a harmonious mission around the world.
Led by Liao Shining, Deputy Chief of Staff of the PLA Navy, "Zheng He" vessel arrived in Kochi Wednesday morning on a four-day goodwill visit. The national flags of China and India were hung on the mast. The Vessel was received at the berth by Ambassador Zhang Yan, Defence Attache Cai Ping and diplomats from Chinese Embassy in India, together with Indian Navy officials from Flag Officer of the Southern Naval Command, the chief protocol officer and the Southern Naval Command band in attendance.
Ambassador Zhang and Defence Attache Cai were invited to board on the vessel. Ambassador Zhang expressed warm welcome to all the officers and cadets and made a brief introduction on China-India relations. He said, "this year is declared as the 'Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation', the visit of "Zheng He" vessel is an important event in bilateral ties and military exchanges which added new content to the event. We believe the interaction between navies of both countries will further promote military cooperation, enhance mutual trust and development of bilateral relations."
Deputy Chief of Staff Liao said that the "harmonious mission-global voyage" by "Zheng He" vessel aimed to implement our leaders' important strategic thinking of building a "harmonious world" and a "harmonious ocean", carry forward Zheng He' spirits of exploring the ocean and enhancing friendship, meet the needs of Navy's transformation for the future and cultivate cadets' overall capability. Meanwhile, through this visit, we hoped to promote exchanges and cooperation between the two navies as well as add luster to the development of China-India relations and the "Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation".
Ambassador Zhang and Deputy Chief of Staff Liao also accepted interview of Xinhua News Agency, CCTV, CRI, Phoenix Satellite TV, Liberation Army Daily and Shanghai Wen Hui Daily on issues of China-India relations and "Zheng He" vessel's visit to India.
Ambassador Zhang and Deputy Chief of Staff Liao also met with Rear Admiral Sudarshan Y. Shrikhande, Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command and Officiating Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. They also attended the welcoming reception hold by the Indian Navy and held a deck reception on the "Zheng He" vessel.
Cochin is located in the southwest coast of India. The well-known Chinese navigator Zheng He has arrived at Kochi six times over 600 years ago. India is the third stop of the "Zheng He" vessel. The cadets on board visited Indian Naval Maritime Museum at INS Dronacharya and the Navigation and Direction School at the Naval Base. They also had a football game, a volleyball game with the Indian Navy and a joint band performance at the Sagarika auditorium. A midshipman from Indian Navy had an practice on "Zheng He" vessel during the route from Malaysia to India.