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Commentary: No need to be unsettled over China's first aircraft carrier

08-10-2011 14:13 BJT Special Report:China Refits Aircraft Carrier “Varyag” |

BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Although aircraft carriers have been in service in many naval forces for decades, the debut of China's first aircraft carrier drew worldwide attention.

China's first aircraft carrier, refitted from an old former Soviet Union vessel, made its maiden sea trial on Wednesday. It serves mainly as a platform for research, experiment and training.

It is true that as a key symbol of a powerful naval force, aircraft carrier is a moving battle platform that can either be used for offense or defense. But their use depends fundamentally on a country's defense policy and military strategy.

Therefore, people have every reason to believe that aircraft carriers will not change the Chinese navy's strategic deployment, nor the country's defensive national defense policy, and thus should not be viewed as a threat.

As a matter of fact, it is noteworthy that China was the only permanent UN Security Council member state that did not own an aircraft carrier. In Asia alone, India and Thailand have already owned aircraft carriers.

China's need to defend its long coastline and enormous maritime interests is basically behind the country's resolve to develop aircraft carriers.

China has also learnt a lesson from its modern history of humiliation that backwardness leaves one vulnerable to attack.

Between 1840 and 1949, China was attacked from the sea for more than 100 times and was forced to sign a string of unfair treaties due to maritime defense failures.

In the 21st century, struggle for maritime interests is becoming increasingly intense as the whole world comes to realize that the seas have become a key space for expansion of national interests and maritime security has become an important sphere of national security.

Therefore, building a strong navy that is commensurate with China's rising status is a necessary step and an inevitable choice for the country to safeguard its increasingly globalized national interests.

China has told the world repeatedly that it will never seek hegemony, no matter how developed it is.

China has been devoted to world peace and will remain a force for peace. Chinese navy fleets had by June escorted 3,953 ships from countries all over the world through the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, among which 47 percent were foreign commercial ships.

Even if China developed an aircraft carrier with full combat capacity in the future, it will not pose any threat to other countries. Instead, a China with a strong military power means that China could shoulder more responsibilities for world peace.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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