China's first aircraft carrier was brought into service on Tuesday which raised the country's military capability and increased tensions between its neighboring countries.
This is a new addition to China's navy and could have an impact on island disputes. In an interview with Chinese newspaper, People's Daily, Chinese naval expert Li Jie said "The aircraft carrier will play an important role in China's settlement of islands disputes and defense of its maritime rights and interests."
The name of the boat is Liaoning and some Chinese media outlets have stressed the significance on it to protect China's territory. China's Ministry of Defense said to Reuters that Liaoning would "raise the overall operational strength of the Chinese navy" and help Beijing to "effectively protect national sovereignty, security and development interests".
The aircraft carrier is a refitted ship that was purchased from Ukraine and will play a role in testing and training before the launch of the country's first domestically built carriers in the coming years.
Tensions between Japan over islands claimed by both sides are mounting and the formal handing over of the carrier to China's navy could be seen as a show of national strength. "The smooth commissioning of the first aircraft carrier has important and profound meaning for modernizing our navy and for enhancing national defensive power and the country's overall strength," Premier Wen Jiabao said to Xinhua news agency.
Relations between Japan have decrease after Japan purchased Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China which is in the East China Sea.
According to Reuters, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said, "China will never tolerate any bilateral actions by Japan that harm Chinese territorial sovereignty.
Japan must banish illusions, undertake searching reflection and use concrete actions to amend its errors, returning to the consensus and understandings reached between our two countries' leaders."