JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The 42nd Chinese naval escort fleet, consisting of the guided-missile destroyer Huainan, the missile frigate Rizhao and a supply vessel, arrived at the Port of Richards Bay, South Africa, Sunday to participate in a joint maritime exercise held by China, Russia and South Africa.
The South African naval force held a grand welcoming ceremony at the dock to celebrate the occasion.
More than 60 people, including Acting Chinese Consul General in Durban Sun Anlin, officials of South Africa's military and representatives of overseas Chinese, welcomed the arrival of the fleet as Frigate Rizhao successfully docked at the Port of Richards Bay at 5 p.m. local time Sunday.
The drill, which is being held in the eastern waters and airspace from Durban to Richards Bay, is the second joint maritime exercise conducted by the naval forces of the three countries since 2019.
The joint exercise will be held in two phases, including port and sea. While at the port, the three navies will also hold consultations on joint maritime exercise subjects and carry out exchange activities such as ball games.
The Chinese fleet set sail from Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on Sept. 21, 2022, for the 42nd escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia. They have escorted a total of 29 Chinese and foreign ships in the mission. Enditem