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Three suspenses on Maritime parade ceremony to be uncovered
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21:18, April 22, 2009

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In order to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the PLA Navy, the multinational fleet review ceremony —— as an important part of the multinational navy activities will be held in Qingdao on the 23rd. This is the first time the Chinese Navy has held such a large-scale international navy fleet review ceremony at sea, and it has drawn great attention from people of all walks of life. Some topics have become hot issues in the media, including what Chinese Navy fleets will be shown, what is the strength of the Chinese Navy and whether and when China will build aircraft carrier. The Chinese are very much looking forward to this upcoming fleet review ceremony which still leaves some conundrums to be answered:

Conundrum 1: What Chinese Navy fleets will be shown in the review ceremony?

On April 20 and 21, foreign warships participating in the multinational navy activities arrived in Qingdao. These fleets mainly include destroyers, frigates, patrol boats, landing craft and depot ships. On April 23, the foreign "lineup" in this maritime fleet review was announced, while what Chinese fleet will be shown has become the biggest suspense.

The Chinese Nuclear Submarine is one of the highlights of the maritime review. On April 20, Ding Yiping, the deputy commander of the Chinese Navy formally disclosed to the media that the submarine will be present in the Chinese navy fleet review.

According to him, the Chinese Navy fleet and weapons displayed in this review are all Chinese-made. The fleets participating in this review are mainly the North Sea Fleet, as well as representatives from the East and South China Sea Fleets. The main criteria for choosing fleets participating in the review are based on the none-interference to normal training and tasks.

Yi Zhuo, a military expert also said recently that in addition to the Chinese Nuclear Submarine, there are some large surface combat vessels, similar to some seaport ships that have been going to the Gulf of Aden to perform convoy tasks including large destroyers, large landing craft, and large amphibious ships, which will also be a highlight of the military review.

Ding Yiping revealed that dozens of Chinese Navy fleets, dozens of aircraft and 21 warships from 14 countries will be reviewed in the multinational fleet review ceremony on April 23.

Conundrum 2: Who are the heavyweights that will be present at the review?

There have been three navy fleet reviews in New China's history, while this is the first time for such a large-scale international navy fleet review. According to the report, all countries attached great importance to this activity. There are officials from 29 countries who will be present, including the minister of the U.S. Navy campaign and the Russian Navy commander-in-chief. This is also the "maiden voyage" to China for Mehta, the Indian Navy chief of staff.

As the media pointed, this large-scale fleet review will be of an unprecedented high standard. According to a previous report in Hong Kong Da Gong newspaper, the high-level of the Central Military Commission, the generals of the Navy Fleet Headquarters and the high-ranking officers of the three fleets will all be present. The warships from all countries will make 21 gun salutes when reviewed by the leaders of the party and states.

The fleet review ceremony is expected to be a gathering for the marshals both from China and foreign countries. What heavyweights will attend has become a big concern of people.

Conundrum 3: What about China's aircraft carrier?

As the Chinese Navy will soon celebrate its 60th Birthday, China's aircraft carrier suddenly became a hot issue. Last month, China's mainstream media have covered such a news, "Liang Guanglie, the minister of Chinese Ministry of National Defense declared at the meeting with Bing Tianjin, the visiting minister of Japan defense on 20th, March, 'the only country among big nations which do not have aircraft carrier is China, China can not have no aircraft carrier forever." According to some foreign media, this is the first time for the China's national defense has clearly indicated to the World that China will build aircraft carrier.

Wu Shengli, a member of the Central Military Commission and Navy commander said recently, after 60 years development, the People's Navy has been able to perform diversified military tasks at any time, accelerate the pace of developing the vital weapons and equipment, and develop large surface combat vessels, new self-sustaining stealth submarines and supersonic combat aircraft. This is in addition to making new generation weapons and equipment such as long-range missiles with strong penetration abilities, the high-speed long-depth torpedo and electronic warfare equipment with good universal compatibility more precise. As soon as Wu Shengli's idea of "The independent research and manufacturing of large-scale surface combat fleet" was delivered, it has immediately become the focus for media commentary.

Last year, before the first Chinese Navy fleet went to Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to perform convoy tasks, Huang Xueping, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense expressed that the aircraft carrier is not only the representation of a nation's comprehensive strength, but also the specific requirements of nation's navy strength. China has a vast coastal area. It is a sacred duty of the Chinese armed forces to protect the nation's security at sea, safeguard China's territorial waters and coastal areas rights. The Chinese Government will carefully consider the relevant issues according to a wide range of factors.

The suspense surrounding when the 60-year old Chinese Navy will have an aircraft carrier not only caused heated debate among the Chinese, but also drew international attention. Lohed. Gary, the minister of the US Navy Campaign said April 19, "Whether the Chinese Navy has an aircraft carrier or not, the US will not change its strategy and the nature of the action of the US Navy." Earlier, the foreign media even speculated that China might uncover its aircraft carrier plan at the fleet review.

By People's Daily Online



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