"We should strive to build a powerful navy that adapts to the needs of our military's historical mission in this new century and at this new stage," he said in comments splashed on the front pages of the party mouthpiece People's Daily and the People's Liberation Army Daily. "We should make sound preparations for military struggles and ensure that the forces can effectively carry out missions at any time," said Hu, pictured in green military garb for the occasion.
China's naval expansion includes a growing submarine fleet and new ships with "blue water" capability, fuelling fears in the United States that its military could alter the balance of power in Asia with consequences for Taiwan.
China has said it would attack if the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own formally declares independence.
Analysts say China sees a stronger navy as a way to secure energy supplies and seaborne trade routes to help ease security fears over supplies of resources and oil it needs to feed its booming economy.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Watch the Long Game - it is setting up right on schedule.