PLAN’s new purpose-built hospital ship, Peace Ark, spent last week anchored off Kenya’s coast while providing medical assistance to Kenyan citizens:

The crew, which leaves the port of Mombasa tomorrow, has been doing an average of six operations, 80 physical examinations, 110 dental check-ups, 35 CT scans, 200 DR examinations, 240 ultra sound cases and 170 heart check-ups per day.

The Peace Ark hospital has 428 medical and support staff. They include neurologists, surgeons, radiologists, dermatologists, biomedical engineers and psychologists.

Other facilities are a rescue helicopter, 32 medical departments including Chinese herbal medicine, 300 hospital beds and a wide range of diagnostic medical equipment.

The daily stats offer some insight into the medical assistance capacity of the new hospital ship, however that is not what interests me. What interests me is that PLAN first humanitarian assistance deployment is already scoring major public diplomacy victories for China. Need proof?

Today news of the Peace Ark’s visit to Kenya was posted on the popular social new website Reddit. Within four hours over 840 readers had voted up the story to the top page, where it currently remains. Another further 270 readers had commented on the story. The most popular comment? “When is it visiting the USA?”

Posted by Christopher Albon in Soft Power
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  • RickWilmes

    Is there an Opium Den below decks ?

  • Chuck Hill

    Great Power competition in doing good has got to beat the alternatives.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “The most popular comment? “When is it visiting the USA?””

    A well-orchestrated bit of propaganda which the Chinese themselves have no small role in.

    As we daren’t offend, we do not have the savvy to similarly put out a story from Haiti asking where everybody else (Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, etc.) was.

  • Chuck Hill

    Are the coming to the USA to provide our under served acupuncture patients.

  • Derrick

    Just a minor victory in the big chess game that international diplomacy is.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Imitation is the sincerest form of admiration. Or was that envy?

  • Derrick

    I think it’s envy, but that’s just my personal opinion, not an official declaration from the Chinese government.

  • Old Air Force Sarge

    I guess this is one way to practice treating casualties off-shore from an “over the beach” invasion. Is Taiwan paying attention?