Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hu Jintao tells China navy: Prepare for warfare

China's navy should speed up its development and prepare for warfare, President Hu Jintao has said.

He told military personnel they should "make extended preparations for warfare".

China is locked in territorial disputes with several other nations in the South China Sea. Political tension is also growing with the US, which is seeking to boost its presence in the region.

After Mr Hu's comments, the US said China was entitled to defend itself.

"Nobody's looking for a scrap here," said Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby in quotes carried by the AFP news agency.

"Certainly we wouldn't begrudge any other nation the opportunity to develop naval forces."

Senior US and Chinese officials are currently holding talks on military issues.

The one-day meeting takes place every year, with the stated aim of ensuring there are no misunderstandings between the two nations. more