China donates military equipment to Guyana

07 April 2017

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has given military equipment to Guyana in a bid to enhance bilateral ties and bolster the South American country's defence capabilities.

China's PLA donated 31 pieces of military equipment to the Guyana Defence Force in early April. (GINA)China's PLA donated 31 pieces of military equipment to the Guyana Defence Force in early April. (GINA)

The donation to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) consisted of 31 pieces of equipment, including patrol boats, bulldozers, one excavator, water tankers, fuel tankers, tipper trucks, off-road ambulances, and other vehicles, Guyana's Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a statement on 4 April.

The PLA also brought in a team of officers to assist and train GDF troops in the use of the equipment.

The items were officially handed over on 3 April during a ceremony where Guyanese president David Granger said that the Chinese donation helped to "further cement relations between the two countries".

Granger referred to the vessels as a "welcome addition to the GDF's riverine fleet", while adding that the other equipment will improve the capability of the country's engineer corps.

"We look forward to the continued support of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Republic of China, especially in strengthening the technical capability of the Defence Force," he said.

"This ceremony is an expression of the fraternal ties between the Guyana Defence Force and the People's Liberation Army. This ceremony is a symbol of the friendship between Guyana and China," the president said.

GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West was quoted by GINA as saying that the donation will contribute to the "total transformation of the service into a body that effectively oversees total national events".

"The GDF sees this donation as extremely significant since the type of equipment included in this catchment includes machinery that can positively impact our third role for national development such as road and bridge building," Brig West said in the GINA statement.

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