No arms race between China, India: Chinese daily

Beijing, Aug 13 (IANS) There is no arms race between China and India but New Delhi launching aircraft carrier provides Beijing with "a more favourable international opinion environment in terms of the development of its own advanced armaments", a state-run Chinese daily said Tuesday.

INS Vikrant, India's first indigenous aircraft carrier and that displaces 37,500-tonnes, was launched in Kerala's Kochi city Monday.

An article in the Global Times Tuesday said: "The waves caused by India's aircraft carrier launch haven't been as sensational as those caused by Japan's light carrier the Izumo among Chinese."

"India has adopted a different attitude than Japan toward territorial disputes with China," it said.

The daily added that India's "overall national strength lags behind that of China".

"Therefore, China perceives Japan rather than India as its biggest neighbouring threat."

The daily went on to say that the fact "India is moving faster in terms of developing armaments such as aircraft carriers provides China with a more favourable international opinion environment in terms of the development of its own advanced armaments".

"However, there is no arms race between China and India," it stressed.

The article exhorted China to speed up its construction of domestic aircraft carriers.

"India's actions remind us that the strategic significance of developing aircraft carriers in Asia is not declining. Rather, they are one of the most effective strategic tools in maintaining national maritime interests. The earlier China establishes its own aircraft carrier capabilities, the earlier it will gain the strategic initiative.

"We need not worry that the `China threat' theory may gain ground with the proliferation of aircraft carriers. Past experiences have taught us that this theory can do little harm to China," it said.

The daily noted that "the strategic deterrence provided by aircraft carriers is still significant".

"China is a latecomer among big powers in terms of developing domestic aircraft carriers," it said and rued: "Even India has moved ahead of us."

China has acquired technologies relating to nuclear weapons, missiles and nuclear-powered submarines, though with limited scales. China has proved itself as a defensive country, strategically speaking.

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