US asks China to explain why it wants aircraft carrier

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Washington, Aug 11: As China commenced sea trials of its first aircraft carrier, the US has sought an explanation from Beijing why it needs this kind of equipment and asked it to be more transparent about its power projections.

"We have had concerns for some time, and we've been quite open about them with regard to the lack of transparency from China regarding its power projection and its lack of access and denial of capabilities," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters late yesterday.

China's first aircraft carrier set sail for sea trials, as concerns mounted about the country's rapid military buildup amid flaring regional disputes.

"We want to see more transparency. We would welcome any kind of explanation that China would like to give for needing this kind of equipment. As you know, President (Bareck) Obama and President Hu (Jintao) have stated together that they want a healthy and reliable military-to- military relationship."

The latest Chinese military buildup, Nuland said, is part of US' larger concern that China is not as transparent as other countries; it's not as transparent as the US about its military acquisitions, about its military budget.

"This causes concern," she said.

Noting that the US would like to have the kind of open, transparent relationship in military-to-military affairs, Nuland said: "In our military-to-military relations with many countries around the world, we have the kind of bilateral dialogue where we can get quite specific about the equipment that we have and its intended purposes and its intended movements, et cetera. We are not at that level of transparency with China that the presidents have said we should have and that we aspire to." 

PTI

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