Interpretation of China's 1st transformed aircraft carrier
Updated: 2011-07-28 15:03
By Wang Tonghua, Liu Gang, Qian Xiaohu and Yin Hang (chinadaily.com.cn)
Q: How would you evaluate China's first transformed aircraft carrier?
Du Wenlong (Research fellow with the Academy of Military Sciences): As the first aircraft carrier transformed from an old carrier platform, its core role is to provide a basic basis and pivot for Chinese aircraft carrier research and training, so that relevant personnel can learn how to build and use it.
Q: For China, what does this mean?
Li Jie (Research fellow with the Naval Military Studies Research Institute): The Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is relatively experienced with the use of small and medium-size surface ships, but is still a green hand for large surface ships such as aircraft carriers, so they have to start from scratch on issues such as how to use the aircraft carrier, and how to manage thousands of crew.
Many countries have their own aircraft carriers.
This is an important day, and more importantly, a day that needs a sense of normalcy.
Q: From the global perspective, what do you think of China's current carrier construction?
Yin Zhuo: China's development of aircraft carrier is a historical necessity, and is in line with the development law of military construction in countries worldwide. China is a maritime power with 18,000 km of coastline under its jurisdiction. Since its reform and opening up, the expansion of China's maritime interests has greatly exceeded expectations. The Chinese PLA Navy currently still has a big gap in terms of the sea defense capabilities compared with other advanced countries, and, in particular, China has not yet formed a coordinated support capacity between air and sea surface ships in the ocean. From the escort operations in the Gulf of Aden to the withdrawal of personnel in Libya, we can see the Chinese PLA Navy needs aircraft carriers in order to better safeguard national security and development interests. Currently, among permanent members of the UN Security Council, only China has no aircraft carrier, while the United States has 11 aircraft carrier formations, and Britain, France and Russia all have their own aircraft carriers.
China's independent foreign policy of peace will not change because of the development of aircraft carriers. We never advocate the use of force to resolve differences and disputes with neighboring countries, but try to find a mutually acceptable path of peaceful settlement of disputes. With aircraft carriers, China can better protect its strategic opportunities, and embark on the road of peaceful development with Chinese characteristics.
Q: Prior to this, there had been some foreign media comments on the development of China's aircraft carrier. What are your comments on this?
Du Wenlong: I have noticed that some foreign media misunderstood China's development of aircraft carriers. It is notable that observing whether a country is a threat to world peace is not its national strength and military strength, but rather what policies it pursues. No matter whether it has an aircraft carrier or how many aircraft carriers it possesses, China will not change the defensive national defense policy it pursues.
China's development of aircraft carriers is aimed at making a greater contribution by the Chinese people to a harmonious maritime environment. China's development of aircraft carriers is not directed against anyone or any country, but a kind of maintenance and protection for world and regional security. Some foreign media deliberately created the "China threat theory", but with the "China threat theory" being there for so many years, no one is threatened. The facts will continue to prove that despite developing aircraft carriers, China will always be a defender of world peace and stability.
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