New Delhi: Describing the launch of India's indigenous aircraft carrier and Japan's biggest warship since World War II as a threat to China, a report in the state-run media on Tuesday alleged some countries are backing New Delhi to balance Beijing's power. The launch of India's INS Vikrant and Japan's helicopter carrier serve as a warning for China, said an article on the state-run Global Times' website.
"Some Chinese scholars emphasise that India has yet to grasp the key technologies of the carrier and that it will rely on other countries to maintain and upgrade the carrier. But it is also a fact that many countries are supporting India in developing advanced weaponry, not only for profit but also to balance China's power," said Liu Zongyi, an assistant research fellow with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, in the article.
"India is well aware of the intention of the Western countries. Some politicians and media outlets in Indian deliberately stress the role of India's military buildup in containing China so as to please those traditional powers," it claimed. But at the same time it said the launch of India's home-built aircraft carrier is indeed worth celebrating, because it marks a firm stride toward the indigenization of arms.
The triumphant launch of the hull demonstrated India's progress in building giant surface carriers, it said. "The launch also shows that the Indian government has had preliminary success in localising arms production. The government has invested billions of dollars in the construction, research and development of domestic shipbuilding," it said.
Together with the launch of domestically built nuclear submarine INS Arihant, it will help boost the ruling Congress Party's election chances in 2014. "They do mark India's achievements in localising arms production," it said. While China's rise is mainly an economic one, India's emergence is more prominent in the military sphere, it said quoting Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report stating that India has been the largest weapons importer ever since 2011.
"The so-called external threats may serve as an excuse for engaging in military expansion as well as corruption, which has been endemic in India's scandal-ridden weaponry development in recent years," it said.