CHINA HONG KONG CHINESE PLA NAVAL ESCORT TASK FORCE VISIT

epa03201370 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and school children waving flags welcome the frigate 'Yuncheng' as it arrives at the Ngong Shuen Chau (Stonecutters) Barracks during a stopover in Hong Kong of the destroyer 'Haikou' and the frigate 'Yuncheng', Kowloon, Hong Kong, China, 30 April 2012. The Hong Kong Government invited the two ships to the city as part of the celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the handover of sovereignty of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China, and also as a propaganda coup to boost flagging support for mainland China amongst local residents of Hong Kong. The two ships comprised a part of the 'Naval Escort Task Force 171' which is returning home after recently conducting anti-piracy operations in the horn of Africa, Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. It is the first time a PLA destroyer and frigate have visited Hong Kong. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD