Wed, September 26, 2012
China > Politics

Carrier will not alter China's offshore defense strategy

2012-09-26 02:47:00 GMT2012-09-26 10:47:00(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

China's first aircraft carrier "Liaoning" was delivered and commissioned to the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tuesday after years of refitting and sea trials. CMC Vice Chairmen Guo Boxiong (3rd L, front) and Xu Caihou (2nd R, front), State Council Secretary-General Ma Kai (2nd L, front), director of the PLA's General Armament Department Chang Wanquan (1st R, front) and Navy Commander Wu Shengli (1st L, front) also attended the ceremony. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

Chinese President Hu Jintao, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), inspects the guard of honor on the aircraft carrier "Liaoning" at a naval base in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 25, 2012. China's first aircraft carrier "Liaoning" was delivered and commissioned to the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tuesday after years of refitting and sea trials. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

Chinese President Hu Jintao, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), endorses the flag of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to the naval unit that receive the aircraft carrier "Liaoning" at the carrier handover ceremony held at a naval base in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 25, 2012. China's first aircraft carrier "Liaoning" was delivered and commissioned to the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tuesday after years of refitting and sea trials. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

Military officers stand onboard China's aircraft carrier "Liaoning" in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 25, 2012. (Photo/Xinhua)


By Yu Runze,Sina English

China's first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned to the People's Liberation Army navy on Tuesday, ushering China into a new era of Blue Navy.

Even so, Chinese military authorities have repeatedly stressed that china will not shift its offshore defense strategy, according to the statement on the website of Ministry of National Defense.

“Its entry to the ranks will enhance the modernization of the Chinese navy's comprehensive combat strength and its defense capability," the statement reads.

“The Liaoning will help "effectively protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, and promote world peace and common development", it says.

China’s 1st aircraft carrier Liaoning, refitted from the Soviet ship Varyag, has successfully completed ten sea trails since last August. The commission marks its transformation from an unfinished ship to a warship.

But for an aircraft carrier to fulfill its initial operation capability, it needs at least 20 fighter pilots who are able to operate on the carrier, a military expert said.

The carrier will have to take a series of functional tests including actual combat tests, shipboard aircraft tests and fleet coordination.

“There is still a long way to go to build up a reliable combat capability and form a capable task group, given the time and experience needed to master the ship,” said Bai Wei, writer for the UK-based Air Forces Monthly.

China's carrier debut jitters Japan

By Zhao Wei, Sina English

China's first aircraft carrier named Liaoning was delivered and commissioned to the People's Liberation Army navy on Tuesday morning following ten successful sea trials.  

Japanese media undoubtedly glue their attention to the debut of the Chinese carrier, remarking China becomes the first country that “owns an aircraft carrier” in East Asia. Some of the media believe the aircraft carrier is acting as a deterrence to Japan amid the escalating tension between the two countries.    

Japan’s right-wing daily Sankei Shimbun embarked on the Chinese carrier coverage immediately after the formal announcement of its entering in service. According to its report, China commissioned the aircraft carrier in a time for Oct 1, the founding day of the People's Republic of China and a special occasion to display the national strength. 

The report says that the aircraft carrier, without enough combat power at this time, can mainly be used for training and research purposes. Still, it is mounting pressure on Japan in a time when bilateral ties ebb at its lowest after Tokyo's "nationalization" of the Chinese Diaoyu Islands.

As a country armed with aircraft carrier, the report says, the ocean-going combat capability of China will be beefed up hereafter.

In addition to serving training and research purposes, the Liaoning aircraft carrier will provide support in terms of data and experience for the future development of aircraft carriers    

Meanwhile, Asahi Shimbun believes that the Liaoning is likely to be deployed along with the Tsingtao-based North Sea Fleet.

According to Asahi Shimbun, China has carried out a series of counter measures against Japan for Tokyo's "nationalization" of the Islands. After the first aircraft carrier enters service, China will intensify pressure further on Japan, says the report.

Commissioning of China’s carrier catches attention of the whole world

By Mei Jingya, Sina English

China’s first aircraft carrier was handed over to the navy and formally commissioned on Tuesday. The significant event was reported by almost all influential foreign presses, let alone making headlines on domestic newspapers.

Following is a selected collection of comments made in foreign media regarding the topic:

New York Times: In a ceremony attended by the country’s top leaders, China put its first aircraft carrier into service on Tuesday, a move intended to signal its growing military might as tensions escalate between Beijing and its neighbors over islands in nearby seas.

The Associated Press: Whatever its practical effects on China's global status, the carrier embodies huge symbolism for China's political and military leaders as a symbol of their country's rise from weakness to strength.

The Wall Street Journal: China's military could add to its projected power if it were eventually able to deploy aircraft carriers as well as necessary support vessels. That could include running longer and more sophisticated sea and air missions to assert sovereignty over the South China Sea.

Washington Post: China formally entered its first aircraft carrier into service on Sept. 25, underscoring its ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, although the ship is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time.

The Atlantic Wire: The commissioning of the Liaoning represents a significant, if for now sympbolic, advance in Chinese naval power.

Reuters: China cast the formal handing over of the carrier to its navy -- attended by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao -- as a triumphant show of national strength at a time of tensions with Japan over islands claimed by both sides.

The Telegraph: The commissioning of the Liaoning makes China the only nation in East Asia with the capability to project its naval and air power and sends a clear message to its neighbors.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp.: It's a huge milestone for the navy that's been planning to achieve an aircraft carrier capability for a long time. It's also a day of celebration for China's ship-building industry - the launch means that it has achieved a new level of sophistication and it can probably incorporate some of the lessons in building more indigenous aircraft carriers.

Aljazeera : The carrier might very quickly evolve into a real fighting capability.

AFP: The commissioning makes China the last permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to have an aircraft carrier, and comes at a time of increased maritime tensions in the region.

The Hindu: In a reflection of China’s increasing maritime ambitions, the country commissioned its first aircraft carrier on Tuesday in an event hailed by top officials as being of “far-reaching significance” and coming amid rising regional tensions.

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China’s 1st aircraft carrier handed over to navy Today

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