China has for the first time officially criticised their local media comments that said India’s recently-launched indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was targeted at the Communist country and would trigger an arms race.
But the country’s defence ministry quickly followed up the criticism by announcing that China would launch more aircraft carriers of its own to increase its current strength of one.
“China will comprehensively consider the development of aircraft carriers in accordance with the needs of national defense and military building,” Yang Yijun, national defence spokesperson, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
The usually monthly defence ministry briefing is out of bounds for foreign journalists.
Yang dismissed comments about the Indian aircraft carrier’s apparently covert purpose.
“China and India are partners and close neighbors. Getting along well with each other and achieving co-development is in the fundamental interests for both.”
“It is groundless and shows a lack of good will to use weapons equipment as a pretext to drive a wedge between China and India,” Yang, was quoted by the state media, as saying.
Yang confirmed that China and India will launch a joint anti-terrorism training exercise between the two armies within 2013 in southwest China’s Sichuan province.
But China has ensured that it’s “all weather friend” Pakistan doesn’t get the wrong signal from the resumption of the Indo-China military exercise: Chinese and Pakistani air forces will take part in a three-week joint drill from September 2 to 22 in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Yang announced.