China supports Defence Force with K17.5 million gift


SIXTY-two vehicles costing a total of K17.5 million were donated to the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) on Friday by the Chinese government.
They were 44 troop carriers, 10 armoured vehicles, four 45-seater busses and four mobile kitchen vans and spare parts. The donation was made by China’s Ministry of National Defence.
Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing said the donation was part of an ongoing relationship between China and PNG, which has also seen 83 officers from the defence force train in China.
He said such exchanges and cooperation have deepened the mutual understanding of the two armed forces and brought real benefits for the people.
“It fully demonstrates our sincere support to the PNG Defence Force for its capacity building,” he said.
“It is also another illustration of the practical results and benefits brought to us in the 41 years of friendly relations between China and PNG.
“I hope that this batch of equipment will be helpful for the PNGDF to enhance the ability to safeguard the national interest and to maintain peace and safety of your country and people.”
Said Defence Minister Solan Mirisim: “It’s the second gift by the People’s Republic of China in the short time since the relationship started in 2007, compared to that relationship with other countries.
“That growth in our relationship is featured and illustrated by the many exchange visits by the senior military officers of the PNGDF, and China is ranked second to those of other countries.
“We are ready to use these equipment . . . for the Apec programme in 2018.”
PNGDF Commander Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo said the Chinese government was also helping with medical and gymnasium equipment.
He said China donated 44 vehicles last year.
“This donation will assist our troops to be mobile and conduct operations during Apec 2018,” he said.