The Chinese president, Hu Jintao
, has called on top military commanders to build a powerful navy, the state media reported as China continues to spend heavily on a modern, blue-water fleet.
In a speech to navy officers attending a Communist Party meeting Wednesday, Hu said China was an important maritime nation and the navy should be ready to protect the country's interests at any time, according to reports.
His comments also reinforce the views of senior Chinese military officers who argue that China needs
a navy that can deploy far from the country's coastline to protect its huge maritime, trade including crucial imports of oil and raw materials.
China has a fleet of more than 50 submarines, including modern Russian and domestic designs, that could pose a major threat to U.S. aircraft-carrier battle groups.
These submarines are armed with advanced Russian torpedoes and anti- ship missiles.
The Chinese Navy
also has more than 20 major surface warships in its fleet.
Source: Herald Tribune