'Peace Ark'
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Chinese floating hospital treats Costa Ricans for free

25 November 2011 Last updated at 13:45 GMT

A Chinese navy hospital ship called the Peace Ark has docked in Costa Rica, providing free medical care for local residents.

The hospital ship, which has some 300 beds, eight operating rooms and 100 medical staff, offers traditional Chinese medicine as well as modern treatment.

Many analysts see China's goodwill mission as an attempt boost its "soft power" in a region in which it is increasingly economically active.

The BBC's Liliet Heredero reports.