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Visiting ship shows nation’s maritime strength

Carrie Qiu
Updated: Jul 1,2017 7:30 AM     China Daily

Dalian Maritime University’s training ship Yukun is berthed at Ocean Terminal, Harbour City in Hong Kong, from June 29 to July 5.[Photo/China Daily]

The Yukun, China’s first self-designed modern training vessel, will visit Hong Kong as part of the celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the region’s return to the motherland, officials announced.

Public visits to the ship — a university training vessel that is one of the world’s most advanced — will be allowed on July 1, July 2 and July 4.

Guided tours will be organized for Hong Kong students from secondary and maritime schools, including visits to the ship’s bridge, canteen, library and dormitories for students who train on the ship.

Yukun, owned by the Dalian Maritime University, is a 116-meter vessel for training maritime majors. It set sail from Dalian, Liaoning province, on June 25, and is berthed at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, until July 5.

This is the ship’s second time in the special administrative region after visiting in 2015.

The Yukun offers the public a glimpse of the country’s achievements in maritime education, according to Li Chi-wai, chairman of Hong Kong Seamen’s Union. Li’s union is one of the local organizations that invited the vessel to Hong Kong.

He added that visiting Yukun would be especially interesting to young people since many of them are not up to date with the country’s latest maritime developments.

Wang Fengwu, deputy director of the university delegation and Party secretary of the university’s Navigation College, said Yukun will enhance communications between maritime students in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

He said that as one of the busiest ports in the world, Hong Kong needs more talent in maritime jobs and related industries.

“Dalian Maritime University has many alumni working in Hong Kong. We welcome Hong Kong students to go on exchange programs and study at Dalian Maritime University,” Wang said.

Launched in 2008, Yukun has trained 10,000 students majoring in maritime related specialties, including navigation science, and marine and environmental engineering. The vessel is well-equipped with testing facilities in areas such as radar.

Unlike similar training ships elsewhere in the world, Yukun does not have cargo space, which provides more room for students to learn and practice their operating skills. It can take up to 196 students on board in each voyage.

Tickets are available with a donation of HK$10 ($1.28) per visitor to the nonprofit Community Chest of Hong Kong. Visitors are advised not to wear slippers or sandals.