The Chinese government has been upping their military equipment, with stealth fighters and now a 60,000 ton aircraft carrier under construction in the port city of Dalian.
Although there have been reports of threat after the discovery of the aircraft carrier in Dalian that is painted in the colors of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, and outfitted with a flight deck containing new missiles and guns, Chinese officials in Beijing are insisting that they would never use the vessel for a military task. The vessel is still under construction in Dalian and owned by a Hong Kong company. The stealth fighters have not even completed test flights.
It is important to examine that lesser power countries like Argentina, and even Thailand, have aircraft carriers so it is not farfetched or necessarily dangerous for China to be building one of these vessels. There is, however, no purpose for an aircraft carrier other than military-related tasks.
Western media has been buzzing about the ever-growing military defenses for China, as their defense budget grew by 12.7% this year to $91.5 billion from $80 billion (United States military defense budget is in the $700 billion dollar range) according to the Associated Press. That budget still leaves China at the second highest military budget worldwide.
An editorial issued by the Xinhua News Agency stated that Chinese generals are seeking to soothe global concerns about the rapidly rising People’s Liberation Army and that they have no interest in seeking conflict and will not threaten other countries.
Chinese Defense Minister, Lian Guanglie, has recently stated that judging whether or not a country is a threat does not lie in its economy or military strength, but in the domestic and foreign policy it pursues.