Beijing: China's first aircraft carrier, which was commissioned Tuesday, is an important element in "comprehensive rejuvenation of the Chinese nation", said a state-run Chinese daily amid an ongoing row with Japan over a group of islands.
An Op-Ed article in Global Times Wednesday said that besides improving the navy's combat capabilities in distant waters, an aircraft carrier can also bring other benefits.
"The commissioning of the aircraft carrier comes just in time," said the daily, a day after Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met in the United Nations with his Japanese counterpart, Koichiro Gemba, and reiterated China's position on the Diaoyu islands.
"An aircraft carrier will enhance China's status in the South China Sea disputes. A stronger and confident China will promote balance and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Parties in this region will be calmer by then," it said.
"This is an important element in the comprehensive rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said the article referring to the aircraft carrier that has been named Liaoning.
The daily said that China's navy is growing stronger.
"This process requires time. However, the Liaoning's appearance makes this process clearer. Indeed, the modernization of China's national defense still has a long way to go. But because of this achievement, we know that we have already made progress. We have confidence that we can continue to make similar achievements in the future," it said.
Stressing that a solid foundation for China's rise has been established, it said: "The world expects China to be a promising power in the 21st century."
"Only by combining the Liaoning with China's rise can we better understand its strategic significance. With an aircraft carrier, China's development seems faster in the eyes of the world," it added.
It went on to say that compared to the rest of the world, "Chinese people are more uncertain when viewing themselves. We can only grope in the dark and learn from mistakes".
"The motivation for China's revitalization is very simple. We have been bullied for a long time. We want to regain normal development and national dignity," the daily added.
It stressed that China is "now reluctant and even anxious at being treated as playing a critical role in the redistribution of the power in the world".
"China has blazed its own trail. No one can design a certain path of development."
Describing the aircraft carrier as a milestone, the article said: "Hopefully, it will also be a psychological milestone for the Chinese people. We should say goodbye to our inferiority complex."
First Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 13:13