Beijing, Mar 24: China, which is the world's only major country without an aircraft carrier, is planning to discard this tag, if Defense Minister Liang Guanglie is to be believed.
"China's navy is currently rather weak, so we need to develop an aircraft carrier," the China Daily quoted Liang, as saying.
The high-ranking official was reportedly responding to a question put forward by his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada during their meeting in Beijing.
Following the defense minister's statement, a poll of nearly 20,000 netizens shows that 50.3 percent people believe that China will build a carrier "very soon", while more than 44 percent think that country will 'definitely build one, but it will take a long time'.
About 87 percent of the respondents in the sina.com.cn poll believed that China is capable of building aircraft carriers, but is waiting for the right time to do so.
Vice-Admiral Wu Huayang had earlier said: "The construction of aircraft carriers serves as a symbol of a country's strength, and China can build its own."