China's second aircraft carrier, also the first wholly developed and built domestically, was launched at a Dalian shipyard in Liaoning Province on April 26.
As a nation with over 18,000 km of coastline and 3 million square km of sea under its jurisdiction, China needs a strong navy built around aircraft carriers. The country put forward its aircraft carrier development plan in 1987. The fact that it has taken China only 30 years to produce its own aircraft carrier shows the remarkable advancement of its naval equipment capacities as well as the overall improvement of its national strength.
In the meantime, it should be noted that China still has a large gap to fill compared with developed countries in aircraft carrier core technologies and combat capacity. On the one hand, this shows that regarding China's development of aircraft carriers as proof of the China-threat theory has no factual basis; on the other hand, China has a long way to go to improve its ability to build aircraft carriers.
China's purpose in building aircraft carriers is not for war, but for peace. Being a large, responsible nation, China performs escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia. China's aircraft carriers will help it better perform such missions and make greater contributions to world peace.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in People's Daily on April 27)