China Rejects Carrier Claims

227

Context
Speculation that China will soon take its first aircraft carrier to the oceans was renewed Wednesday when the US tried to shore up global concerns over China and tighten its strategic grip over Asia, according to analysts. China’s first carrier may start its sea trials by summer 2011, and its deployment will significantly affect the balance of power of the region, said US Navy Admiral Robert William on Tuesday. The statement comes as photographs of a ship, Vayag, acquired by China in 1998 from Ukraine and now reportedly under renovation in the port of Dalian, were circulated on online defense forums. Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of National Defense spokeswoman Li Jia has rejected such speculations. “We are consistent in regard to aircraft carriers. There is no further information on this issue,” she said on Wednesday.