CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese political advisor suggests more PLA aircraft carrier visits to HK
Published: Mar 05, 2021 04:00 PM
The picture shows aircraft carrier Shandong berths at a naval port in Sanya. China's first domestically-made aircraft carrier Shandong (Hull 17) was officially commissioned to the PLA Navy at a military port in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, on the afternoon of December 17, 2019, making China one of the few countries in the world that have multiple carriers. Photo:China Military

The picture shows aircraft carrier Shandong berths at a naval port in Sanya. China's first domestically-made aircraft carrier Shandong (Hull 17) was officially commissioned to the PLA Navy at a military port in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, on the afternoon of December 17, 2019, making China one of the few countries in the world that have multiple carriers. Photo:China Military


China should organize an aircraft carrier task group to visit the country's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2021, a move that can boost the senses of pride, safety and belonging for people in Hong Kong and safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability by displaying China's strong national defense capability, a national political advisor suggested at the ongoing two sessions.

Gao Yanming, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, also the president of Hebei Ocean Shipping Co Ltd, said that this should be done when COVID-19 is brought under control. If the condition allows, it would be better if two of the country's carriers form a dual carrier group that also includes other advanced warships, like the 10,000 ton-class destroyer, and make them open for onboard visits by people in Hong Kong, China Ship News reported on Thursday.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy now operates two aircraft carriers, namely the Liaoning and the Shandong, as well as the Nanchang, a 10,000 ton-class destroyer Type 055, with more hulls in this class expected to enter service soon.

On July 7, 2017, the Liaoning visited Hong Kong as part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, with observers at the time saying that the move elevated local people's pride in the country.

Aircraft carrier visits to Hong Kong should become routine, Gao suggested, noting that PLA carriers should make a visit every one or two years.

Gao said that the situation in Hong Kong remains complicated, with some people having less sense of belonging to the country, hostile forces destabilizing the region, the US containing China by playing the Hong Kong card, and the economic impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, China Ship News reported.

Under this situation, aircraft carrier visits in Hong Kong will display China's national sovereignty and deter hostile forces, letting Hong Kong compatriots feel the motherland's might and boosting their senses of pride, safety and belonging, Gao said.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator based in Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Friday that aircraft carrier visits will enhance patriotism education for people in Hong Kong, which is very important.

Residents in Hong Kong need to develop a sense of nationhood and stick to the core ideals of "one country" in the "one country, two systems" framework, and PLA aircraft carrier visits will contribute to that, Song said.


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