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China gives rare glimpse inside destroyer at RIMPAC

Cmdr. Sun Hong Bin, the executive officer of China's guided-missile destroyer Xian, explains some of the features of the ship's helicopter deck to visiting reporters July 8, 2016, while the ship was docked at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for the Rim of the Pacific exercise.

WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES

By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 9, 2016

China offered the media a glimpse Friday of the five ships sent to the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii — but just a peek.

A small group of reporters was welcomed aboard the 150-meter-long guided-missile destroyer Xian, which is flagship of the flotilla sent by the People’s Liberation Army Navy. It’s been in service for roughly a year.

Reporters were ushered into the ship’s dining area, where officers representing the five ships were seated to answer a few questions.

China also sent the hospital ship Peace Ark; the replenishment ship Gaoyouhu; a submarine rescue ship named Changdao; and two surface warships, the guided-missile frigate Hengshui and the Xian.

The Peace Ark is the only ship to return among the four that visited during RIMPAC 2014.

China gave reporters a much more expansive look at their ships two years ago, with media interest so great that tours were broken into smaller groups.

This year only a small handful of media was allowed to visit; the tour was restricted to the Xian and limited to the galley and rear heliport.

olson.wyatt@stripes.com

A sailor aboard China's guided-missile destroyer Xian salutes officers heading down the gangway while the ship was berthed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, July 8, 2016, for the Rim of the Pacific exercise.
WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES

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