Report: China Marks 60th
Anniversary of Navy
by Xinhua writer Yan Hao
BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- After more than a year of preparations beneath local residents' eyes, an international fleet review massed in the water through which foreign warships entered China with opium in the 1890s.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) waves to the navy vessels which are being reviewed while aboard the destroyer Shijiazhuang in waters off Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2009. A parade displayed 25 naval vessels and 31 aircrafts of the PLA Navy, including two nuclear submarines, as part of a celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy.(Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
There were limited options for the nation, which at
the time was hiding behind its walls, to stake claim to its maritime interests
on a planet three-quarters covered by water.
The People's Liberation Army Navy, which grew from
little more than several abandoned Kuomintang ships, learned during coastal
fights in its infancy that peace has a high price.
Seriously considering becoming a real blue-water
force, the Navy was urged to increase its capabilities to match the nation's
international status after making a transition from inshore protection to
In the naval sail-by of an international fleet off
the coast of Qingdao in the Yellow Sea, 50 warships met up Thursday to seek a
harmonious ocean, the same goal of another group of navies massed through
international cooperation in the Gulf of Aden.
Marking the Navy's 60th anniversary amid an economic
slowdown can redeem national pride in the waters where corrupted and occlusive
Qing Empire left a history of humiliation for bending to overseas colonists
During seven voyages by Zheng He (1371-1433), China's own Christopher Columbus-like navigator, what was then the largest flotilla in the world imposed neither a colonial treaty nor claimed a piece of soil.
A naval parade of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and aircraft is held in waters off China's port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
An increasing presence offshore China's
18,000-kilometer mainland coastline might raise concerns among neighbors.
However, it is imperative for the world's fastest-growing economy, which must --
despite the global downturn -- protect its cargo and awake citizens to its sea
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea truly endows
China with the right to claim maritime interests, but the country cannot shirk
its obligation to acquire the military power to secure those rights.
With President Hu Jintao aboard the inspection
warship in the fleet review, the Navy took a new step forward in shouldering
more responsibility for the nation's peaceful development.
Naval parade of PLA |Aircrafts|Submarine