Beijing: China is a "relatively isolated power", said a state-run Chinese daily, observing that other countries "do not dare to blindly challenge China's core interests or risk engaging in military confrontation" due to its military strength.
The successful first test flight of China's second kind of fifth generation stealth fighter, the J-31, means that "China is developing two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters at the same time", said an editorial in the Chinese edition of the Global Times reproduced online Monday.
Only the US has ever owned two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters.
"In recent years, China has continued to develop its aerospace industry, so as to catch up with the most advanced in the world. It is possible that China will make some new breakthroughs. With new high technology being developed, the gap between the Chinese air force and world-class level air forces will continue to narrow," the editorial said.
The daily admitted that China can compete with neither the US nor Russia in terms of comprehensive military strength, "a situation which will continue for a long time".
"...Amid frictions with the US, China has no other needs than to defend its own core interests, a mentality that the country should persevere with."
It added that due to "China's current military strength, other countries do not dare to blindly challenge China's core interests or risk engaging in military confrontation with it. However, it does not mean that foreign forces will not dare to launch a war against China under any circumstances".
It said that China's current national defense strategy is offshore defense, which embodies the general scope of China's core interests.
"But if China has further strategic ambitions, it will inevitably face risks which will be difficult to deal with in the coming years. Not only superpowers like the US, but also medium-sized powers may risk confronting China for what they see as their core interests. Therefore, China's assertiveness not only depends on its military strength, but also on where China uses this strength," the editorial added.
The daily stressed that besides military strength, China also needs to develop its soft power and accumulate experience of how to use its power.
"China is a relatively isolated power.
"Such isolation is not uncommon for emerging powers. But at the moment, we should clearly recognize that our growth in the global arena cannot simply rely on growing military strength or a few advanced weapons."
It justified the advancement in military technology, saying: "Developing sophisticated weapons is a required course for China. Sophisticated weapons are expensive, but they are not luxuries for China. We have spent a lot of money manufacturing and equipping them, and we will also use special methods to consume them."