According to a report in the Taipei Times, Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the building of a powerful navy that is prepared "at any time" for military struggle, state media reported yesterday.
At a meeting of delegates to a Chinese Communist Party navy forum on Wednesday, Hu reportedly said China was a major maritime country whose naval capability must be improved.
"We should strive to build a powerful navy that adapts to the needs of our military's historical mission in this new century and at this new stage," he said in comments splashed on the front pages of the party mouthpiece People's Daily and the People's Liberation Army Daily.
"We should make sound preparations for military struggles and ensure that the forces can effectively carry out missions at any time," said Hu.
Analysts say China sees a stronger navy as a way to secure energy supplies and seaborne trade routes to help ease security fears over supplies of resources and oil it needs to feed its booming economy.
China's naval expansion includes a growing submarine fleet and new ships with "blue water" capability, fueling fears in the US that its military could alter the balance of power in Asia with consequences for Taiwan.
(Source: Taipei Times)