General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier

A high-ranking Chinese military official has hinted that China’s fast-growing navy is seeking to acquire an aircraft carrier, a move that would surely stoke tensions with the United States military and its allies in Asia.

In an interview published in The Financial Times of London on Monday, the official, Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua, did not say whether China was in fact building a carrier. But the general, a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said having one was the dream of any great military power. He suggested that the United States had nothing to fear should China acquire one for strictly defensive purposes.

By Andrew Jacobs
The New York Times     

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier,” he said in the interview. “Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

In recent years, Pentagon officials have been warily following Beijing’s ambitious naval buildup. Since 2000, China has constructed at least 60 warships, and its fleet of 860 vessels includes about 60 submarines.


USS Ronald Reagan

Tensions between China and the United States were heightened last month after the Pentagon announced the sale of $6 billion in advanced weapons to Taiwan. China reacted angrily to the news, warning that the move could worsen relations between the countries. The deal includes Apache attack helicopters and a sophisticated array of missiles, radars and antiaircraft defense systems.

In the interview, the general insisted that China would not deploy a carrier with aggressive intent. “Navies of great powers with more than 10 aircraft carrier battle groups with strategic military objectives have a different purpose from countries with only one or two carriers used for offshore defense,” he said.

Although he did not mention any country by name, his comments were clearly aimed at the United States, which has 11 aircraft carriers, including the USS George Washington, which was recently deployed to Japan. Of the handful of other nations that have aircraft carriers, including Britain, France, Italy and Russia, none have more than two.


Above: USS George Washington

Related:
Could China’s Envey of U.S. Aircraft Carriers Now Be a Construction Project?

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/
world/asia/18china.html?_r=1&hp

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One Response to “General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Nice website, great photo find.

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