Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Strong navy for regional stability

By Yang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2013-08-15 08:07

Aircraft carriers have become the topic of the season. On Aug 6, Japan unveiled Izumo, a helicopter-equipped destroyer which is more like an aircraft carrier, prompting international media outlets, including those in the United States, to comment that Tokyo's ambition to build giant warships could lead to a naval arms race in East Asia. And now India has launched its first home-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, drawing international attention.

The new developments make it all the important for China to strengthen its strategic policies, develop aircraft carriers and modernize its navy according to its national conditions. As a large country with a vast land area and a long coastline, China cannot do without a strong navy.

The key report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November called for increased efforts to build China into a maritime power to safeguard its maritime rights and interests. China will pay special attention to maritime, outer space and cyberspace security, and work out the appropriate use of its military strength in peacetime. But one thing is for sure, the Chinese navy should be developed to a level that matches its rising status in the international community and be capable of safeguarding its national security and increasing development interests.

Given its fast growing power and influence, China's naval buildup has caused widespread concern across the world and invited a lot of criticism, some out of ignorance and some out of narrow geopolitical considerations.

After the commissioning of Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, in 2012 and the successful landing test carried out by J-15 fighter jets on it, the international community has realized how determined China is to develop aircraft carriers. Perhaps the world is now trying to figure out how many aircraft carriers China plans to have and how it will use its increasingly powerful navy.


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