PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace arrived in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby on Wednesday, marking the start of its eight-day humanitarian mission in the Oceanian nation.
Papua New Guinea's Defense Force Chief of Staff, Captain Philip Polewara, extended the country's warm welcome to the ship and expressed its thanks to China and the Chinese people for the aid.
The vessel, which last visited the country four years ago, will conduct joint medical diagnoses, treatment and academic exchanges with local hospital staff.
It will also open to the public during its stopover to further promote cultural understanding and friendship between the two countries.
Bilateral relations have continued to develop since China and PNG established diplomatic relations 42 years ago, with the vessel's Papua New Guinea mission marking the latest step and building on the official visit by Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to China last month, said Chinese Ambassador to PNG Xue Bing.
Papua New Guinea is the first stop of the Ark Peace's current Mission Harmony 2018 after a 14-day voyage starting from the port of Zhoushan, eastern China. It is set to sail to other countries including Vanuatu, Fiji, Venezuela, Grenada and Ecuador.
Since 2008, the ship has visited 37 countries and provided free medical services for more than 180,000 people.