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China's first aircraft carrier reflects arms buildup

By Fu Xiaowei (Changjiang Daily)

09:45, August 16, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The Varyag, China's first aircraft carrier platform, started its first sea trial on Aug. 10. According to the plan, the first sea trial will not last long and related refitting and testing work will resume after it returns to the shipyard.

Earlier, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense announced for the first time that China was refitting an obsolete aircraft carrier for scientific research and training purposes, which instantly attracted close attention at home and abroad.

The Varyag is just a training ship. The establishment of China's future aircraft carrier fleet and its operational system as well as the formation of actual combat capability will take a long time. Even so, the first sea trial of the aircraft carrier is still a landmark event.

In retrospect, the 100-year history of aircraft carriers has clearly shown that owning aircraft carriers is usually one of the symbols of a major country's march toward a great power. China has not had its own aircraft carriers for a long time largely because of China's peaceful military modernization concept.

China has always been a peace-loving country, and its ownership of an aircraft carrier and its plan to strive to build aircraft carriers do not mean that it has not turned back on peaceful military modernization. Rather, it is a result of its deeper understanding of its peaceful military modernization. China's ultimate objective in its development of aircraft carriers is to safeguard its national security.

Along with rapid economic growth, constant technological progress and rising comprehensive national strength, China's national interests are expanding, making the effective protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity more urgent. China started developing its own aircraft carriers for the purposes of building a strong navy, which can effectively protect its national interests, and seeking appropriate means of safeguarding national security.

As a continental country, China has long focused more on the defense of its land territory and failed to realize the importance of territorial waters and airspace. In fact, the country has more than 18,000 kilometers of coastline and 3 million square kilometers of territorial waters, which require effective protection from a strong navy. According to the experience of world powers, China can increase its ability to protect territorial waters and national interests by developing its own aircraft carriers.

China's aircraft carrier plan, especially the Varyag's sea trials, has received nationwide recognition and praise. It should be noted that aircraft carriers are not used for showing off, and China has no intention or need to show off its strength. The launch of the country's first aircraft carrier showed the growth of its military power and improvements in the ocean awareness of the central government and the people.

The aircraft carrier is called the “floating land.” As China's aircraft carrier is sounding its horn and heading toward the deep-blue ocean, the national security vision of China's people is also being extended. Ancient people once used the phrase “viewing the vast ocean with despair” to describe the ocean. But now, the ocean has not been as far, strange and scary as it used to be. The ocean has become a part of our land like the land we stand on.

Without doubt, building the aircraft carrier has strengthened the most important link of China's defense-orientated national defense policies, and the success of the first trial voyage is a good start. Once upon a time, the people of China successfully developed the nuclear bomb, ballistic missile and man-made satellite with their fighting spirit and ceaseless efforts. Now, China has become much more prosperous and stronger, and we believe the people of China will ultimately have their own aircraft carrier fleets.


Leave your comment6 comments

  1. Name

Bruce at 2011-09-2775.210.67.*
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, there will be no more homeless children without food to eat or clean water to drink and clean air to breathe in the USA but the odds of that happening are slim to none.
gflWYmIC at 2011-09-1189.135.190.*
You have shed a ray of snushnie into the forum. Thanks!
PD User at 2011-08-2799.104.33.*
That which one cannot defend or protect is not one"s. Remember the opium wars! of the nineteeth century .
Joe at 2011-08-2799.104.33.*
that which one cannot keep- protect or defend - is not one"s.
GWM at 2011-08-24109.238.72.*
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, there will be no more begging children in China, and every Chinese has access to clean drinking water, clean air to breathe and clean food to eat.

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