The medical team aboard a Chinese navy hospital ship which has been treating hundreds of people in Papua New Guinea has committed to a long-term stay there.
The ship, the Daishan Dao or Ark Peace, left today after a week-long stopover in the capital of Port Moresby.
Its medical team leader Dr Wei Yang He told the Post Courier 10 Chinese medical specialists will stay behind to work at Port Moresby General Hospital.
The group will then rotate out in 2020 as part of an agreement between China and PNG.
Over the past week the ship's staff have handled more than 6,000 medical consultations and performed 36 surgical operations.
The Ark Peace was scheduled to next sail to Vanuatu and Fiji before moving on to South and Central America.
Hospital ships from the United States have also visited Pacific countries in recent years.