China to give high profile reception to Indian naval ships

Four Indian naval ships scheduled to visit Shanghai on a rare goodwill visit next week, first since 2006, will receive "high-profile" reception, China said today.

As External Affairs Minister S M Krishna spoke of the goodwill tour of the naval ships to Shanghai during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jeichi here today, the Chinese Minister told him that a high-profile reception awaited them.

The four ships -- a destroyer, frigate, corvette, fleet tanker -- comprising of 1,400 sailors would visit Shanghai from June 13-17.

Both India and Chinese militaries have prepared elaborate programmes to make it a major occasion for public diplomacy between the two countries.

Besides visit by top political and military officials, a large number of students were also invited to visit the ships.

The naval band is also set to perform in the city while the Indian sailors would take part in the local football match.

This is the first time Indian naval ships visited Chinese ports after 2006. A Chinese naval ship which recently visited Kochi received a warm welcome.

The visit by ships assumed significance as both countries discussed maritime cooperation besides taking part in the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Eden during Krishna's visit.

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