BEIJING - China should and also have the capability of building its own aircraft carrier, said a veteran military delegate to the Chinese legislature here on Thursday.
The realistic and potential demand for security requires China to have its own aircraft carrier, as any country has the right to make the decision, said Admiral Hu Yanlin, former political commissar of Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, who is attending the ongoing Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), or China's parliament.
China is capable of building aircraft carriers thanks to the reform and opening up policy that has stimulated great development of the country over the past three decades, he said.
"There should be nothing to be afraid of as you can see China's major neighbors all have had their own aircraft carriers," said Hu in response to whether neighboring countries would be worried about.
Among China's neighboring countries, Russia, India, Thailand and the Republic of Korea have had aircraft carriers, while some of Japan's naval vessels can perform as aircraft carriers at a sub standard.
Zhao Guojun, a Chinese naval commander, said on Tuesday that "China naturally wants to build a strong navy" including, eventually, an aircraft carrier, the China News Service reported.
China's Ministry of National Defense spokesman said in December last year that aircraft carriers were "a reflection of a nation's comprehensive power" and were 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.
"China's limited military force is mainly for safeguarding our sovereignty and territory and forms no threat to any other country," according to Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the NPC session.