Vessels from China's Popular Liberation Navy docked for the first time in Buenos Aires in the framework of a South American tour that includes Chile and Brazil. The lead ship is destroyer Lanzhou with missile capability, the frigate Liuzhou and the support vessel Boyanghou, all active with the China's South Sea Fleet.
The protocol visit includes a meeting of Rear Admiral Li Xiaoyan with Argentine Defense minister Agustin Rossi, accompanied by Beijing's ambassador in Argentina, Yin Hengmin.
The three vessels left last month from the port of Sanya in Hanin province and according to Xinhua news agency the purpose of the visit is to increase mutual knowledge, promote friendship and closer cooperation.
The Chinese embassy in Buenos Aires reported that the vessels have sailed 28.000 sea miles, crossed the Pacific Ocean, and over to the South Atlantic through the Magellan Strait.
The 6.400 tons destroyer Lanzhou has participated in several exercises and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters. The Liuzhou frigate displaces 4.000 tons.
The three vessels will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday.
Lanzhou belongs to the Type 052C destroyer or Lanzhou class and is a class of destroyer built at the Jiangnang Shipyard. It features a four array multi-function phased array radar for 360-degree coverage. The radar is used in conjunction with vertically launched HHQ-9 long-range air defense missiles. The Type 052C was the first warship in the People's Liberation Army navy to have true long-range fleet air defense capability.