Aircraft carrier reasonable for peaceful development

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 28, 2011
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An aircraft carrier is "deserved and reasonable" for China to boost its maritime defenses and seek peaceful development, said a commentary run by the PLA Daily newspaper, the voice of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), on Thursday.

China refurbishes an aircraft carrier for conducting research. [Chinanews Agency]

China refurbishes an aircraft carrier for conducting research. [Chinanews Agency]

China's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country is refitting an imported aircraft carrier body for the purposes of scientific research and training.

The official confirmation ended years of speculation and doubt regarding China's acquisition of an aircraft carrier.

China is currently the only country without an operational aircraft carrier among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Even in Asia, there are countries that are ahead of China in the area of researching and developing aircraft carriers, the commentary said.

China has a very long coastline and a large amount of territorial waters, making maritime defense an important part of China's national interests, it said.

The commentary also warned that previous threats to the country have come from the seas.

Between 1840 and 1949, China suffered several attacks that came from the seas and was forced to sign more than 700 unfair treaties because of maritime defense failures, it said.

Safeguarding national interests requires capability and power, and building a navy that is commensurate with China's status and developmental interests is a necessary choice, the commentary said.

The commentary refuted speculation that China's aircraft carrier many eventually be used offensively.

"The country's defense policy and military strategies will determine whether the carrier is used for offensive or defensive ends," it said.

China only strives for peaceful development and will never seek hegemony, it said.

After the carrier is completed, it will not pose any threat to other countries, but will instead help China to take on more responsibilities related to maintaining world peace, the commentary said.

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