BEIJING, Jan.1 (Xinhuanet) -- For more on China’s second aircraft carrier, we now come across to CCTV reporter, who was at the press conference today.
Q1. Han Bin, tell us when the carrier will enter into service? And how many the country is building now?
Q2. You have been following the training on board the Liaoning. From your observations, what would be the significance of China building more aircraft carriers in the future?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, that China is making new aircraft carriers. The rebuilding of the Varyag, and the extensive blue-ocean training on the Liaoning, have mainly solved the problems of how to build an aircraft carrier and how to use the concept of carrier operational groups.
Now, the first indigenously produced carrier is seen as a major step towards China’s goal of building a maritime power. But it's only the start of its long-term strategy of military modernization. The spokesman did not say how many carriers China aims to build, but many experts believe that more are needed to upgrade overall capabilities. As for when the second carrier will enter into service, it's only a matter of time.
The aircraft carrier is the symbol of maritime power. With the rising tensions at sea, and China’s growing economic links from the sea, it’s a natural choice for the PLA Navy to pursue a path that will best serve the country’s interest. China’s military is undergoing a deep transformation from land-based forces to more sea-based operational forces.
The carrier is key to that transformation. In addition, with an ever-expanding number of upgraded frigates, destroyers, submarines and shipborne fighters, China will be able to form the carrier groups, like many advanced countries. The true significance of more aircraft carriers to the military and regional security, will be closely watched.