His Majesty visits Peace Ark
Danial Norjidi

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces consented to conduct a visit to the Peace Ark, China’s hospital ship yesterday.

The monarch visited the ship as part of the activities of the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine (ADMM-Plus HADR & MM) Exercise.

Welcoming the monarch upon his arrival at the Peace Ark was the ship’s commander, Rear Admiral Shen Hao.

Here His Majesty was specially accorded on-board the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy ship to take a closer look at its medical service facilities and capabilities.

The hospital ship itself is here in the Sultanate to participate in the ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Exercise.

Known as a ‘ship of life’, the Peace Ark is responsible for the wartime treatment of casualties and evacuation at sea, international humanitarian and disaster relief, and military foreign exchange.

Measuring in at 4,000 square metres in size, the ship has seven offices for doctors and nurses and eight nurse stations, in addition to 300 beds. The medical equipments on the ship has been described as being at par with that in China’s top-level hospitals.

Since it berthed at the Muara Port on June 16, the Peace Ark has seen hundreds of local people having medical checkups, including blood and X-ray tests.

The Peace Ark’s visit to Brunei Darussalam carries the aim of both making contributions to the regional cooperation in non-traditional security, and also promoting friendship among the ADMM-Plus nations.

Rear Admiral Shen Hao, spoke to reporters when the ship arrived on Sunday, June 16, during which he was quoted as saying, “Our current goodwill visit will definitely strengthen the mutual understanding and trust between the two militaries of Brunei and China, and the two navies in particular, and further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries,” he said.

“We are looking forward to further enhancement of pragmatic exchange and cooperation with other navies.” - Borneo Bulletin (21 June 2013)