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What explanation does US need about China's aircraft carrier?

By Wen Xian (People's Daily)

08:34, August 17, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

China's first aircraft carrier became a major topic at the U.S. State Department's daily press briefing on Aug. 10. The department's new spokesperson Victoria Nuland demonstrated poor performance when answering reporters' questions, which fully exposed her deep-seated paranoia and lack of logic.

Three key words at briefing

The first keyword is "concern." A reporter asked Nuland about the sea trials of China's first aircraft carrier on Aug. 10, and Nuland answered that the United States have had concerns for China's aircraft carrier project for some time. “This is part of our larger concern that China is not as transparent as other countries,” she said.

When Nuland expressed U.S. concerns, she failed to mention that China also had its own concerns. China has more than 18,000 kilometers of coastline and used to be severely bullied by Western powers with advanced weapons. Not long ago, a U.S. aircraft carrier participated in a naval drill in China's backyard despite knowing that China's armed forces have great concerns for the country's national security, sovereignty over territorial waters, and maritime rights and interests.

China was previously the only one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council without an operational aircraft carrier, while the United States alone owns more than half of the aircraft carriers in the world. China has every reason to develop aircraft carriers, and it is arbitrary and unreasonable for the United States to question China at the start of the country's justifiable aircraft carrier project.

Over the last decade, U.S. military spending has increased faster than that of China, and the annual average U.S. Department of Defense budget reached 600 billion U.S. dollars. No wonder Nuland was baffled by this question: Why should China's acquisitions policy and defense spending be such a concern when the United States still enjoys such a massive conventional superiority?

The second one was "transparency." Nuland repeated tirelessly that the United States always publicly believes that China is not transparent enough in aspects such as military strength. She claimed that China is less transparent than the United States in these aspects, and the Untied States wants to see a higher level of the transparency from China.

Nuland put forward this old issue once again, and obviously she only saw a part of the picture. In recent years, China has systematically explained all the issues in its National Defense White Paper, including its security situation, national defense policies, modernization construction of the People's Liberation Army, application of armed forces, national defense mobilization, construction of reserve forces, military legal system, national defense science and technology industry, national defense budget, military mutual-trust construction, military control and disarmament.

This action by China has won wide praise. Regarding this issue, a defense attachment from the Canadian Embassy in China once said that, in his opinion, China is doubtlessly trying hard to raise the level of its military transparency.

On July 27, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense of China released the related information on China's first aircraft carrier. China's action of frankly releasing the information on the aircraft carrier is a positive step for promoting the military transparency among great powers of the Pacific Ocean Area. The old tongue of Nuland was taunted by reporters. Is China's aircraft carrier invisible or miniature? Since you know where it is, why did you say it is not transparent? On the contrary, when U.S. aircraft carriers were sailing in the coastal waters of China or the U.S. high-altitude spy planes were frequently flying above China's coastal regions, did the United States inform China "transparently?"

The third is "explanation." Nuland said that the United States welcomes any kind of explanation that China would like to give for needing equipment like aircraft carriers. Then, she expected China to make a formal explanation about the aircraft carrier. China's spokesperson has earlier made it clear that China was refitting an obsolete aircraft carrier for the purposes of technological research, experiments and training.

China's research on the development of aircraft carriers is aimed at increasing its capabilities to safeguard national security and preserve peace. China has always held to the path of peaceful development. China will not change both its national defense policy and the navy's strategy of inshore defense. Since the remarks were so clear, why does the United States still need a “formal explanation?” Nuland's request was immediately refuted by reporters on site again: Is "because we want it" not a good enough explanation?

Instead, the U.S. State Department spokesperson needs to make an explanation about what kind of stereotypical mindsets they have behind their flawed remarks.

(The author is People's Daily's chief reporter in North America.)


Leave your comment20 comments

  1. Name

Mai kafei at 2011-08-3166.57.70.*
The candor of this journalist is disgusting. Sure, U.S. Sect-of-state Dept. is shameless, but the references to pre-modern Sino-"western" relations is as pathetic as it is inapplicable to the writers position. This is the 21st century; get over what happened in the past so that we may have the opportunity to forge a future of prosperity and peace. We are one species with one shared set of future interests; this nationalist bullocks needs to end.
chi zheng at 2011-08-2670.49.246.*
China does not need to explain her actions to anyone!
andrew at 2011-08-24112.241.191.*
i wonder what happen if china aircaft carrier, sail near the usa coastline...
General A. at 2011-08-24198.89.65.*
Biden is a shamless bagger, ask for more Chinese financial aid.
Comrad Chu at 2011-08-24168.215.131.*
The U.S. has such a powerful military because the rest of the world depends on the U.S. to clean up everyone"s problems. China will not do this, so the mop and pail is handed to Uncle Sam. We are tired of this- so here you go Charley it"s all yours.

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