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Hospital ships

Chinese Marine officers board their hospital ship Peace Ark before it leaves Thilawa port in Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday, Sept 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Hospital ships

China is sending a state-of-the-art hospital ship to the Philippines following foreign and domestic criticism that it was slow and less than generous in its response to one of the world's biggest typhoons, which killed at least 4,000 people.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing confirmed on Tuesday the deployment of the 14,000-tonne "Peace Ark" as state television reported the arrival of the first batch of Chinese relief supplies in the Philippines.

Exactly where the Ark will operate and when it will arrive have not yet been confirmed, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Ark would set sail as soon as possible. (Reuters)