By Yu Runze, Sina English
China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning was officially handed over to the PLA navy on Tuesday morning.
The aircraft carrier will enhance navy’s comprehensive capabilities, and capabilities to combat non-conventional threats to security, which has a great significance in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and security, and maintaining the world peace.
China’s aircraft carrier to overawe Japan?
As the Diaoyu Islands dispute heated and senior Chinese leaders showed their unyielding stance on defending the nation’s sovereignty, the commission of China’s aircraft carrier would mount some pressure on Japan, making the relationship between China and Japan further strained, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported, after the carrier commissioned, China will develop shipboard craft in the next step.
“An aircraft carrier is actually a moveable airport floating on the sea. If the carrier is not equipped with shipboard aircraft, it could not be an aircraft carrier in a real sense. China already has shipboard aircraft with good performance.” said Qiao Liang, an air force major general, released yesterday.
After China’s 1st carrier commissioned, PLA’s navy ocean-going operational capability will be further enhanced. As the relationship between China and Japan deteriorates after Japan’s “purchasing” the Diaoyu Island, China may use its carrier to deter Japan, Kyodo News Agency reported on September 24.
The aircraft carrier would play an important role in China's handling of islands dispute and safeguarding its maritime interests, said Li Jie, a researcher with the China Navy Military Academy.