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Philippine military downplays China’s aircraft carrier


China's first aircraft carrier is under restoration in a shipyard in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning province. AP File Photo

MANILA, Philippines —The Armed Forces of the Philippines says there was “no cause for alarm” over China’s first aircraft carrier and the construction of two similar vessels.

“It’s part of the confidence building measures among navies of the world that they are acquiring these and there is no cause for alarm,” military spokesman Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez said Thursday.

Rodriguez said the AFP was aware of the old Soviet ship that China renovated to be its first carrier, a project that has added to regional worries over Beijing’s fast military expansion and growing assertiveness on territorial issues.

“We’ve known that for the past three or four years,” said Rodriguez.

China on Wednesday sought to downplay the capability of the vessel, saying it would be used for training and “research”.

Rodriguez said he saw no reason to be worried about China’s military upgrade amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“I think it will not make that much difference because we understand that these disputes or any dispute for that matter is best resolved in the negotiating table,” Rodriguez said.
The ship, once called the Varyag, was originally built for the Soviet navy. Construction was interrupted by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

China reportedly bought the ship’s immense armored hull—with no engine, electrics or propeller—in 1998.

State television on Wednesday broadcast rare footage of the ship, which is based in the northeastern port city of Dalian.

China’s defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng declined to specify when the vessel would be officially unveiled.

But he stressed that it would not signal any change in the country’s official adherence to a peaceful military stance focused on national defense.

“We have a long coastline and vast waters under our jurisdiction, and guaranteeing maritime security and safeguarding maritime sovereignty and rights and interests is the sacred duty of China’s armed forces,” he said.

China’s People’s Liberation Army—the largest armed force in the world—is extremely secretive about its defense programs, which benefit from a huge and expanding military budget boosted by the nation’s runaway economic growth.

The PLA also operates the country’s navy. With Agence France-Presse

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Tags: AFP , China , Defense , Military , Philippines , South China Sea , Spratly Island , Spratlys , West Philippine Sea

  • Anonymous

    The military should keep their mouth shut. China is not looking for troubles, our military do   by making uncalled for and nasty remarks. Anyway, in the first place, what has our military got to counter a  ”would be” threat? NOTHING! So shut your mouth!. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001089968019 Louie Das Granados

      You should be one the one to shut up.They (Chinese) may have all the the gadgets and military hardware and equipments but to operate it is another things. Made in China……bridges are collapsing, buses are exploding, bullet trains derailings, dam are bursting. We, Filipinos are like David who killed the uncircumcised Goliath. With the help of the Lord GOD Almighty we can face this infidel!

      • Strong Heart

        you are more like one of the hundreds of sinful idiots that got destroyed in sodom and gamorrah..lol. I dont believe in the God of the bible or any god, but I do know that claiming for yourself what has belonged to China for hundreds of years is not only stupid, but it is just wrong. You deserve to be bullied and kicked out (it actually wouldnt be called bullying) because China is doing nothing wrong. The only thing you got from the Americans from being dominated by them way back is aarogance. And you will perish soon.

    • Anonymous

      Quote No. 1) China is not looking for troubles; Un-quote.  If this is true, why did the Chinese patrol and gun boat fired their cannons to the Filipino fishing boats  and harassed a Filipino oil and gas exploration and surveillant  ship along the eighty miles distance  to shore  and yet under the two hundred miles (200 miles)  Philippine economis zone area in accordance to the International Laws of Sea!? Kindly explain this incident to us.  Quote No. 2) our military do by making uncalled for and nasty remarks; Un-quote.   ( I am comfuse of your real citizenship, ’cause  you mentioned…, ‘ our military ‘, I’ll just guess you’re from mainland China right? ) I have not known, read and heard any nasty remarks made by Philippine military officials, if so,  please let us know  where you gathered  with dated  and reliabled  informations. Quote No. 3)  Anyway, in the first place, what has our military got to counter a  ”would be”  threat?  NOTHING! So shut your mouth! ; Un-quote.  YES PROBABLY IF WE ARE ALONE! , Because we are a PEACE LOVING COUNTRY UNLIKE YOURS!  We knew and understood  very well, we the Philippines is no much to China’s  firepower  as well  as to military might and yet we Filipinos are not cowards  and stupid  to sacrifice our lifes for the sake of our homeland Philippines!  REMEMBER WELL !…., We are NOT ALONE with this kind of situation and please DON’T UNDER ESTIMATE US FILIPINOS BECUASE OUR BIG BROTHER (United States Of America) IS BEHIND US!  My last question to you;  Taiwan is a part of Mainland China where the great  revolutionary   leadership of the late Chang Kai Shek escaped after losing to a communist leadership of Mao Zhedong.  Now  and since then, did the Mainland  China recovered their lost land to the Nationalist Chinese!? My answer is a big NO ! Am I right? Why? Because of  the United States protection !  Right again?  Touching the Philippines is just like you touched  the United States Of America.   Any oppressor may think it twice  before doing so. So, you better shut your big  fa#*%!^  mouth bro !

  • Anonymous

    i hope Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez is correct. but what if he is wrong? then what is our best defense to protect our sovereign country? i think most of the people knows the answer to this.,.obviously we are still relying everything to our most favored friend the big USA. i point the accusing finger to the previous leaders..they want a country that cannot defend it self.getting their pocket full were all their worries. now is the race to built this country’s defense force.  time to erase all rebels!! we need to obliterate these band of thief’s and murderers. finish them and our country will prosper. 

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