China's Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Tuesday that aircraft carriers are "a reflection of a nation's comprehensive power" and are needed to meet the demands of a country's navy.
The Chinese government would seriously consider "relevant issues" with "factors in every aspects" on building its first ever aircraft carrier, said the spokesman Huang Xueping when responding to a question on whether it was a good opportunity at present to build China's aircraft carrier, at a press conference.
"China has a long coastline and the sacred duty of China's armed forces is to safeguard the country's marine safety and sovereignty over coastal areas and territorial seas," he said.
The ministry was explaining to reporters the deployment of the Chinese Navy as a convoy task force against pirates off Somalia. Three Chinese ships would head for the Somali region on Friday.
"The deployment of the Chinese navy off the Somali coast was in line with UN resolutions," said Huang, adding it would "play a positive role in safeguarding peace and security in that area."