China To Create Aircraft Carrier Fleet: Report
The Chinese military is currently planning to build an aircraft carrier, a pro-Beijing daily in Hong Kong reported Friday.

"The Chinese army will conduct research and build an aircraft carrier and develop our own aircraft carrier fleet," People's Liberation Army Lt. Gen. Wang Zhiyuan was quoted as saying in the Chinese-language Wen Wei Po.

"An aircraft carrier is a very important tool for big countries defending their interests in the sea. China is a big country with a long shoreline. An aircraft carrier is necessary to defend our interests in the sea," he said.

It would be China's first aircraft carrier and would likely be deployed to join other warships currently in the South China Sea, the newspaper said.

Wang said the carrier fleet will not be complete for another three to five years.

The newspaper said aircraft fit for the carrier and auxiliary warships and submarines are either being built or completed.

It also quoted sources as saying China may deploy its aircraft carrier fleet near the energy fuel supply route in South China Sea where warships are now being deployed.

The barriers for China to build its own aircraft carrier include technology advancement, hardware and software support, building and maintenance costs and political pressure from overseas over China's becoming a military threat in the region, the newspaper reported.