Carrier building: An active move of peaceful development
Updated: 2011-07-28 15:08
By Commentator with PLA Daily (chinadaily.com.cn)
For a long time, people have made varied guesses regarding the reasons behind the development of China's first aircraft carrier; now news from an authoritative source has been released that confirms China is rebuilding the flat-top deck of a waste aircraft carrier, which will be used mainly for scientific research, experiments and training.
As the battleship that came to the fore in World War II, aircraft carriers are no longer novel equipment. However, this move by China still catches the attention and interest of the international public.
This is despite the fact that among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council or the BRICs, China is the only one that does not own an aircraft carrier; even some Asian countries go ahead of China. For China, owning an aircraft carrier to construct strong naval defenses is a matter of course and a matter for congratulation.
China has one of the largest coastlines in the world, and maritime interests are beyond doubt an important component of national interests. As an old saying in China goes, "If the ruler wants the country to be rich and strong, he can by no means ignore the sea where both wealth and danger come from." From 1840 to 1949, China had been invaded hundreds of times and been forced to sign over 700 unequal treaties by big powers that came by sea. The humiliation of the Opium War and the elegy of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 left the Chinese people great pain and a bitter lesson of no coastal defenses. China's defeat also proved true the saying of a Western strategist, "Without a navy, the will of the state that we want to express at a critical moment only becomes the clumsy and useless posture of a giant with feet of clay."
The 21st century is called the century of sea. Sea has already become the important space to extend national interests, while sea safety has become a major domain of national security. The fights for sea interests are becoming fiercer every day. However, interests can only be guarded by power. Making efforts to build a strong navy that matches China’s national status and the interests of national development is an objective demand to perform the historical mission of the army in the new century and an inevitable choice to safeguard the national interests of China under the circumstances of globalization.
Some people mention China owning an aircraft carrier in the same breath with "China threat", which is totally of ulterior motives. Whether the aircraft carrier as a combat platform is used for offense or defense depends on the national defense policies and military strategies of a country fundamentally. The Chinese nation loves peace and pursues justice. To stick to the road of peaceful development is the strategic choice that the Chinese government has made according to the developing trend of the time and its fundamental interests. The development of China will be the development of a peaceful power. China will never seek hegemony and never resort to military expansion or arms race at present or in the future, no matter how developed China will become. China will finally become strong and amaze the world with its prosperity. As Deng Xiaoping said, "the more powerful China becomes, the safer the world will be", and "when China is developed, the force of peace to restrict war will be stronger". Even though may China develop aircraft carriers in the future, it will not become any threat to the other countries but only take more responsibilities for world peace.
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