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China has launched its second aircraft carrier — and its first ever built domestically. In its bid to develop into a naval power, China is keen on modernizing its weaponry and reportedly plans to increase the number of carriers to at least four. Its neighbors are wary of such moves, particularly the increase in carrier fleets that will supposedly be charged with attacking China’s enemies in remote locations.

China’s recent naval advances in the East and South China seas are causing friction with Japan and Southeast Asian nations. These developments are incompatible with China’s claim to a “peaceful rise” and Beijing’s argument that its military buildup is aimed at self-defense. It has an obligation to explain to the international community what kind of power it seeks to become with the buildup of its naval capabilities.

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