China / Hot Issues

People's Daily rebukes arms race allegation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-09-30 08:08

BEIJING - The Saturday edition of the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published a commentary asserting that China has never engaged in any form of arms race and will not do so.

After China's first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on September 25, some overseas media were inclined to discuss a possible military threat posed by China, the commentary said.

"It is nothing but a vain attempt to spread rumors about China starting an arms race or to lure China into engaging in an arms race," it added.

The commentary argued that it is not inappropriate for China to have its own carrier, as it was the last of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to acquire one and is only the 10th country in the world to do so.

Although China has grown stronger, it will never bully the weak, the commentary said.

"China was once bullied by foreign invaders equipped with bombs and fleets. It has always been the fervent hope of the Chinese to build up the country's defenses and to safeguard its territory and sovereignty," it said.

"Countries that are keen on flexing their military muscle and waging wars against weak countries are in no position to point fingers at China," it said.

A strong Chinese navy will not only serve the interest of maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific region, but will also benefit world peace and stability, the commentary argued.

China has a long coastline and vast ocean territory that needs to be defended by a strong navy, the commentary said, adding that regional conflicts, natural disasters and terrorism pose a challenge for China to defend itself and honor its international obligation to preserve peace and security.

The commentary argued that China has proven itself as a responsible international power by participating in naval escort missions near Somalia in recent years.

Developing the economy and improving the lives of Chinese remains the government's primary goal, the commentary said.

China's possession of a carrier will not shift the regional strategic balance, or will it affect China's development strategy, the commentary said.

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