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Guard against impulsive coverage of China's aircraft carrier

By Luo Yuan (People's Daily Online)

17:05, August 17, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

It is worth celebrating that China's long-awaited first aircraft carrier has finally debuted and completed its maiden voyage. After all, the dream of generations of Chinese people to have an aircraft carrier has had a good beginning. As the proverb goes, "a good beginning is half done," and China has at least taken the first step. Henceforth, China is now a member of the world's aircraft carrier club. It is reasonable to be proud of the intelligence and efforts made by China’s scientists, engineers and technicians.

However, when domestic media agencies publicize and cover this major event, they must be objective and calm rather than overly exaggerate by using some eye-catching words to sensationalize it or deliberately downplay the event.

Some people said that the launch of China's first aircraft carrier showed the country's rise as a military power. Admittedly, generations of Chinese have dreamed of making their motherland powerful, and their dream will be realized sooner or later. However, the fact is that the dream has not been realized yet, and China is still progressing toward becoming a military power. The country needs to reflect on the fact that it did not have any aircraft carrier until about 100 years after the world's first aircraft carrier was built. In addition to various objective reasons, an important reason is its lack of ocean awareness.

Furthermore, its first aircraft carrier is just a refurbished version of a foreign secondhand carrier. Although China enjoys a late-mover advantage, it has a long way to go in developing its own aircraft carriers. The refurbished aircraft carrier will be used only for research and training, serving as a foundation for the development of aircraft carriers with real combat capability. The first aircraft carrier is indeed worth cheering for, but more attention should be paid to the development of China's own powerful aircraft carriers.

Certain people said that the aircraft carrier is pleasing to the eye but of no use and is just an image project. In fact, aircraft carriers are of great strategic importance. They can effectively improve China's maritime deterrence and combat capability. They are also a boon to the development of the country's naval forces and a series of high-tech industries, such as shipbuilding. The more "image projects" that can demonstrate and enhance China's comprehensive national strength there are, the better.

Some people say that, "The aircraft was an outcome of the mechanization era and is already out of date." If it is right, why are great military powers, including the United States and Russia still developing late-model aircraft carriers? The large-sized aircraft carrier Ford being developed by the United States will be launched in 2014 or 2015. The United States will build 10 aircraft carriers of this class, and the last one will not retire until 2098. Therefore, how can we say the aircraft carrier is already out of date? It could be said that the aircraft carrier is still the "king" of the ocean at least in the 21st century.

Of course, we are not supporters of the "theory of aircraft carrier ruling." The reason why we regard our first aircraft carrier as a training ship and a scientific research ship is that we want to make best use of its advantages and bypass its disadvantages so that we can develop our strong points and attack the enemy's weak points.

Only if we know both the enemy and ourselves can we always stand at an undefeated position. The aircraft carrier is not our only option but just a subsystem of the entire huge national defense system of China. We still have many development options for the future. In a word, we will not start an arms race with any country, and we will not pursue the most luxurious but will pursue the most useful.

Therefore, reports on our first aircraft carrier should be practical and realistic. Reporters should neither exaggerate nor belittle it and especially should not make it a victim to media agencies.

In a word, the maiden voyage of the aircraft carrier is a big event, but we should regard it peacefully and show the right attitude of a great emerging power.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:韩莎莎)

Leave your comment6 comments

  1. Name

GWM at 2011-08-24109.238.72.*
I still remember China"s official comments when the Kiev Aircraft Carrier was bought for "amusement": "China has no intention to build an aircraft carrier".
arkhangelsk at 2011-08-22210.177.156.*
A good, objective article.
Larrydu at 2011-08-1960.53.50.*
Good commonsense article.
Max at 2011-08-1862.220.135.*
The aircraft carrier is symbolic of a "blue water" navy "industry" - just as we have a space (outer space)"industry". It represents the cutting edge of mankind"s endeavours - into space, the oceans, and beneath the oceans (inner space), and therefore a representation of mankind"s progress towards the futures. In it encompasses knowledge, ideas, courage, inventions, and much more. It"s results are the culmination of all the efforts of people, in this case, Chinese people, in all areas - science, technology, health & medical, economics, finance, R & D, ideas, politics, socio, etc... It will be interesting to see how far we an go.
tonytony at 2011-08-18121.61.178.*
I think the dream of generations of Chinese people has been to have access to clean water and medical care, enough food to eat, and a good education for their children. That dream has yet to be fulfilled.
  

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