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Aircraft carrier needed sometime in the future

THE Chinese Defense Minister, Liang Guanglie, said on Friday in Beijing that China could not carry on for ever without an aircraft carrier - it was the first time a senior Chinese military officer has ever commented in public on the issue, a Chongqing-based newspaper reported today.

Liang also said when meeting his Japanese counterpart Hamada Yasukazu that China would consider many factors if it built the carrier, according to the Chongqing Evening News report.

Chinese navy vessels are expected to visit Japan in 2009, according to a press communiqué released by the defense departments of two countries on Friday.

The communiqué also said Liang would visit Japan this year.


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