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264 words - August 14, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On August 12, India launched INS Vikrant, its first indigenously build aircraft carrier. On this occasion, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony hailed the launch as a "crowning glory", saying "India needs a strong navy to defend itself and will press ahead with developing its maritime capabilities."
Chinese diplomacy was the first to comment on this event. Stressing the "vast interests in common" and the "identical or similar stances on a wide range of regional and global affairs" between China and India, the Chinese government has welcomed the launching of the Vikrant as just one normal step for a "regional heavyweight" and "world's largest importer of weapons" like India. According to China, India's "normal buildup of defense is no cause of worry."
Such a stance clearly contrasted with China's recent statements that denounced the launch of Japan's "light carrier" Izumo. "India has adopted a different attitude than Japan toward territorial disputes with China. Meanwhile, India's overall national strength lags behind that of China. Therefore, China perceives Japan rather than India as its biggest neighboring threat," said a news release published by China's Defense Minister. On the diplomatic stage, this assessment proved true: India-China relations have warmed as much as Japan-China relations have cooled.
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