Late admiral praised for navy's advances

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am


The People's Liberation Army Daily paid tribute yesterday to the late Admiral Liu Huaqing, praising him for his contributions to the navy's modernisation, especially the aircraft carrier programme.

As the former chief commander of the navy, Liu was a strong advocate of the carrier programme.

The official military newspaper posted a 10,000-word article on its front and second pages. It was written by two vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, generals Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, who praised Liu for his devotion to the army's progress when he oversaw its weapons-research units from the 1960s to the 1990s.

It said the PLA Navy made remarkable improvements under the leadership of Liu, who spent most of his career lobbying top leaders for more resources. Liu died on January 14, nearly seven months before the maiden voyage of China's first aircraft carrier on August 10.

Antony Wong Dong, president of the Macau-based International Military Association, said the article was aimed at crediting Liu's contribution to the refitting work on the carrier, which has been undergoing its second sea trial since Tuesday.

'There's obviously a direct relation between this article and the second trial of the refitted aircraft carrier two days ago, as Liu is one of the people who tried his utmost to pursue the carrier project,' Wong said. The article suggested the carrier project, as well as the army's modernisation, had reached another milestone.

Wong compared Liu with the likes of the late revolutionary general Liu Bocheng and the late marshal Nie Rongzhen as influential army leaders.

In his memoir, Liu said China built its first aircraft carrier not to compete with the United States and Russia, but to help solve the problems arising from cross-strait issues, address territorial disputes in the South China Sea and to defend China's maritime interests.