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English>>China Politics

Is maritime power equal to maritime hegemony?

(People's Daily Online)

13:48, November 15, 2012

China should enhance its capacity for exploiting marine resources, resolutely safeguard its maritime rights and interests, and build itself into a maritime power, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a keynote speech at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Certain sensitive Japanese media outlets interpreted Hu's statement as a manifesto for maritime expansion and an indirect response to the Diaoyu Islands dispute, and said that it would cause doubts and worries among Western powers.

China has brought forward the strategies of building itself into a sporting power, technological power, and cultural power on various occasions, and the international community has responded gently to these strategies. Why are certain foreign media outlets so sensitive to Hu's call for China to become a maritime power?

Probably because they still hold the traditional mentality that a major power is bound to seek hegemony, and consider China to be the same as certain expansionist countries. They wrongly believe a rising China will seek maritime hegemony after becoming a maritime power, and that its naval expansion accompanied by shellfire is bound to threaten world peace and development.

History proves that the rise of great powers is inseparable from naval buildup. While promoting modernization, China should constantly adjust its maritime strategy, and accelerate building itself into a maritime power. Unlike other major powers that have wildly exploited maritime resources, China has always shown respect for and fear of the ocean in its maritime strategy.

The 21st century is an era of ocean, which is related to national security and long-term development. The world's major marine nations take maritime rights and interests as their core interests, actively pursuing new marine economic policies and strategic adjustments.

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