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Senior navy officer says China fleet review aimed to "promote understandings"(04/21/09)


China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) kicks off a grand maritime ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of its navy at 6 p.m. Monday off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao,China's Shandong Province, April 20, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Xuanliang)
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QINGDAO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China's senior navy officer said here Monday that the international fleet review to be held in east port city Qingdao on Thursday is aimed at promoting understanding about China's military development.

Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that the review would serve as a platform for navies from other countries to increase their understanding about China and the Chinese navy.

"Suspicions about China being a 'threat' to world security are mostly because of misunderstandings and lack of understandings about China," Ding said.

"The suspicions would disappear if foreign counterparts could visit the Chinese navy and know about the true situations."

Ding also said the review is expected to build a platform for navies from different countries to enhance understanding about each other and for navy leaders to address matters on safeguarding global sea security.

High-level delegations from 29 countries and 21 vessels from 14countries will take part in the review, according to the Defence Ministry.

China would send domestic-made warships and weapons to the review, including the debut of its nuclear submarines.

As the review is to start in days, Ding said the weather in Qingdao is their "prime concern" for the review.

"It would definitely affect the review if bad weather appears," Ding said, "such as rain and fog."

But Ding also said that according to weather forecast, the cold air which caused rain and heavy wind in Qingdao since Saturday afternoon would come to an end by Wednesday. He is confident that the weather on Thursday would be good enough for the review to go smoothly, if "no major weather accidents happen."



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