Chinese president Hu Jintao said that the country should ‘become a maritime power’, as he took stage at a Communist Party congress on November 8, 2012. China faces a bitter territorial feud with its neighbor Japan over islands in the East China Sea.
Over 2,200 delegates in Beijing witnessed president Jintao’s speech, where he said that China should exploit their maritime resources to safeguard their rights and interests, thereby building the country into a maritime power.
Many of China’s offshore neighbors will start to worry that the Asian giant plans on building its defenses, as China has been involved in spats with these very neighbors of late. Tensions have increased in the South China Sea between the Asian heavyweight and Philippines and Vietnam, while the dispute with Japan over the islands continues in the east.
Hu noted that China was committed to peaceful and co-operative foreign relations, but said that interwoven problems affect the country’s survival. He went on to say that the country must build strong national defenses to commensurate its international standing.
Jintao stressed that the technological abilities of the country’s armed forces should be enhanced along with military preparedness, as China should be able to ‘win a local war in an information age’.