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Chinese official asserts right to build aircraft carrier: report

A top Chinese military The Chinese Military could refer to two things:
  • Military of the People's Republic of China
  • Military of the Republic of China
 official asserted his country's right to build an aircraft carrier in a British newspaper interview Monday, without commenting directly on whether it had decided to do so.

Major General Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries.
 Office at the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, told the Financial Times that if China did build a carrier, it would only be used for offshore defence.

"Navies of great powers with more than 10 aircraft carrier battle groups with strategic military objectives have a different purpose from countries with only one or two carriers used for offshore defence," he said, apparently in reference to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  which has 11, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the FT.

"Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach."

The interview comes amid widespread speculation inside and outside China that Beijing is planning to acquire an aircraft carrier.

Earlier this year, the head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating, was reported to have said that Chinese military leaders were intensely interested in such an acquisition.

In March 2007, a Beijing-backed Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov.  newspaper reported that China could have its first aircraft carrier by 2010.

This would likely trigger serious fears, especially in the United States, about China's global ambitions. The FT notes Qian's remarks were unlikely to address concerns over how it would affect a conflict involving Taiwan.

But the Chinese official noted that on a wider scale, it was "unreasonable" for Western countries to continue to call on Beijing for peacekeeping missions Noun 1. peacekeeping mission - the activity of keeping the peace by military forces (especially when international military forces enforce a truce between hostile groups or nations)
peacekeeping, peacekeeping operation
 but at the same time maintain curbs on arms exports imposed in 1989.

"US and EU countries on one hand ask us to send more troops to peacekeeping operations Noun 1. peacekeeping operation - the activity of keeping the peace by military forces (especially when international military forces enforce a truce between hostile groups or nations)
peacekeeping, peacekeeping mission
 overseas, while on the other, they still have such arms sales embargoes on China. I think that is quite unreasonable," Qian said.
Copyright 2008 AFP Asian Edition
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Nov 17, 2008
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