Photo taken in May 2012 shows a Chinese aircraft carrier cruising for a test on the sea. China's first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned to the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on Sept. 25, 2012. The carrier, with the name "Liaoning" and hull number 16, was officially handed over to the Navy at a ceremony held in a naval base of northeast China's Dalian Port. (Xinhua/Li Tang)
BEIJING, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 100 years after the world's first aircraft carrier was built, China, as the world's second largest economy and most populous country, eventually has its own aircraft carrier.
The carrier named "Liaoning," entered service Tuesday. The U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Thailand and Brazil are all in possession of aircraft carriers.
The aircraft carrier, "Liaoning", is a landmark in the country's modernization of armed forces and national defense. The carrier will escort China's further implementation of its peaceful development strategy and it poses no threat to other countries.
The carrier is a reasonable choice for a country that has more than 18,000 kilometers of coastline and three million square kilometers of territorial waters.
It is a lesson China learns from its history how vulnerable it would be without a strong navy and well-guarded coastline.
From the Opium War in 1840 to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the country has suffered more than 470 offenses and invasions that have come from the sea.
In the same water where the aircraft carrier "Liaoning" is docking today, in 1895 the Qing Dynasty's Beiyang navy was defeated by Japanese invaders and all vessels were destroyed or seized.
The establishment and expansion of the PLA navy has significantly improved the country's maritime defense. However, constrained by economic strength and technological level, China has long struggled to shape a navy appropriate for its interests.
Among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China is the last one to have an aircraft carrier.
The 21st century is an age of ocean. For China, which notably contributes to the global economic growth and world trade, the legitimacy and necessity of developing the aircraft carrier technology to safeguard its national interests in the ocean is self-evident.
China, with long and busy sea lanes to secure for the flow of materials and manufactured goods in and out of the country, is entitled to a modernized fleet.
Moreover, modern Chinese armed forces are playing a constructive role towards world peace and regional stability.
Chinese navy fleets had by July escorted 4,734 vessels from countries all over the world through the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.
Among five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China contributes the most personnel to U.N. peacekeeping operations. It has sent more than 20,000 people to 23 operations.
As the world's biggest developing country, China is upholding a peaceful development strategy.
China will not join any arms race, pose a threat to other countries or exceed its national and economic strength to develop arms.
There is no need of panic about whether China has an aircraft carrier or how many aircraft carriers China has.
China's first aircraft carrier commissioned
DALIAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Tuesday after years of refitting and sea trials.
Overseen by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, the carrier was officially handed over by the navy's main contractor, the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, at a ceremony held at a naval base in northeast China's city of Dalian. Full story
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