By Shane McGinley
Chinese warships Wuhan and Yulin start five-day official visit to Gulf country
Chinese warships started a five-day official visit to Kuwait on Sunday in a bit to increase military links between the two countries, according to a report.
Two warships docked at Kuwait's Shuwaikh port, the Chinese Xinhua News Agency said on Monday.
The tour by the destroyer "Wuhan" and the frigate "Yulin" is to boost military links between the two countries, which opened diplomatic links nearly 40 years ago.
"This visit marks a historic occasion and Kuwaiti navy looks forward to future cooperation to improve the relationship and friendship between our two navies," said Colonel Khaled Ahmad Abdallah from Kuwait's navy.
Commander of the flotilla Guan Jianguo hopes the visit would enhance mutual cooperation between the two navies, which in turn would contribute to boosting bilateral relations, the report added.
Kuwait and China have recently looked to boost their economic ties as well.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) and Kuwait Petroleum Corp on Friday started building their joint refining and petrochemical complex in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the top Chinese oil refiner said.
The 59bn yuan ($9.3bn) project, including a 300,000-barrel-per-day refinery and a 1m tonne-per-year ethylene cracking unit, was expected to come on line in 2015, Sinopec said in a press release.
Kuwait is increasingly seen as a key military ally in the region.
Canada signed an agreement with Kuwait in July to set up a military hub for Canadian troops to use for training ahead of deployment to Afghanistan
"Canada proudly deployed over 4,000 Canadian Forces personnel to the campaign to liberate Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War and our friendship has grown stronger over the past twenty years," Canadian defence minister Peter MacKay said.
"Kuwait is an influential partner in the region and we are very pleased that this agreement has been reached for the benefit our respective countries."