Chinese warships collect baby formula before leaving Sydney Harbour.
Chinese military personnel were spotted unloading boxes of highly sought after Australian baby formula onto their warship the day before leaving Sydney Harbour.
The photograph, taken Thursday, shows military staff unloading boxes of baby formula from a van, along with boxes of whitening sheet face masks and Devondale brand long life milk.
Australian brand baby formula has become a highly sought after product in China over the last ten years, after a mass milk poisoning in the region led to the injury and deaths of many babies.
Three Chinese warships quietly entered Sydney Harbour on Monday morning, where they landed at the Garden Island naval base. The arrival surprised many Australians, including the premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian, who wasn’t aware the city would be playing host to the vessels and their 700 crew.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was on a trip to the Solomon Islands when the ships arrived, downplayed public reaction and assured reporters their arrive was not a “surprise” visit.
“It may have been a surprise to others, but it certainly wasn’t a surprise to the Government,” he said.
“They were returning after a counter drug trafficking operation in the Middle East.”
The extraordinary photo of personnel loading the formula and other products, including boxes of face masks and long life milk, was taken on Thursday ahead of the warships exit from the harbour on Friday afternoon.