Monday, November 17, 2008

China aircraft carrier project is a Chinese right and it is not a threat

By China Watcher

Whether the western journalists and the surrounding countries are assured or convinced that the Chinese plan for a blue-water navy – one that project naval power well beyond its coastal waters – in the next 3-4 years is peaceful as being enumerated countless times by China’s Defence or Foreign Ministry spokesperson, their views are not relevant anymore.

The building of an indigenous aircraft carrier by China to protect its security interest is a RIGHT of the Chinese, similar to the RIGHT of the US or the Russians to do so. I do not see any difference. It could be a ploy of the Western media to exaggerate or to highlight a threat which does not exist at all. It is quite common whenever China launches, build or plan to build and test new technology and highly proficient military goods and equipments.

On November 16, a senior officer in a rare Interview with the British’s Financial Times at Chinese Defence Ministry, hinted that the world should not be surprised if China builds an aircraft carrier and he continued to assure the interested groups within China and abroad that the deployment of the battle craft is only for offshore defense and possibly, to protect its commercial shipping lanes from enemies or terrorists attacks.

Personally, I believe the speculation has been going on for the past decade and it is not new if the Chinese navy embarked on such an aircraft carrier program. Even the Pentagon said during the year that China is now actively engaged in aircraft carrier research and would be able to start building one very soon. There were also reports that the Chinese air force had begun training 50 selected pilots to operate fixed-wing aircraft from a ship and that there are modifications being made to the J-10, an advanced Chinese made jet, to land and takeoff from a moving ship.

The Chinese military officer has declined to comment whether China has started to build one but he pointed out that it is the dream of every great power to have one or more aircraft carriers. He also clarified appropriately that the purpose and the use of the aircraft carrier is more important than having one just to show off or to project one country’s as a superpower. The purpose would be different from the US which is to pursue the nation’s own global military objectives and for speedy military deployments in every corner of the world.

If you visualize a threat, it will be the country’s with the most advanced aircraft carrier and also, one that actively uses 11 carriers group to project its military powers throughout the world.

The US, however, will be worried of any matching Chinese military deployment as it is the only nation that will come to Taiwan’s defence in the event of an attack by the Chinese as a result of a declaration of independence by the ruling government on the island. Countering the island’s air force is not the only perceivable issue but the blocking of any military assistance from the US is possible with an aircraft carrier group supported by air power and naval vessels.

The introduction of aircraft carrier in China's military is long overdue and it should have been established more than 10 years ago, to reflect China’s growing status as a regional power.

I stressed, once more, the military deployment of aircraft carriers, possibly one or two in 3-4 years’ time, is not a threat but more of a Chinese RIGHT and it should not cause any unnecessary concerns as claimed by certain military analysts from the US and the West.

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