Thursday, July 18, 2013

Netherlands Military Partnership with China Expanded

The Netherlands’ military partnership with the Chinese armed forces is to be expanded, the defence ministry announced Monday.

Chinese General Hou Shu Sen spoke on Monday with the Dutch military top brass, General Tom Middendorp. The idea is to strengthen maritime cooperation in particular.

The navies of the two countries already work in partnership on combating piracy off the coast of Somalia. The Netherlands participates here in the anti-piracy missions of the EU and NATO.

To tighten the ties, a Chinese taskforce will visit HMS Johan de Witt for a few days in November. This amphibian transport ship of the Royal Marines is then taking over the command of the EU anti-piracy mission Atalanta for the Horn of Africa.

There have already been more exchanges in this region. For example, a medical delegation from HMS Van Speijk has visited the Chinese hospital vessel Peace Ark. The Dutch frigate flies under the NATO flag in the mission area.

The possibility of the hydrographical services of the Dutch and Chinese maritime forces exchanging information will also be considered. This is intended among other things to lead to better security on the North Sea, where many Chinese ships sail.

The Dutch defence ministry says Shu is ''one of van China's most important military leaders''. As well as the strengthened military partnership, his visit “signifies the perpetuation of the good relations between the two armed forces.”

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