23 Dec 2008

China may build aircraft carrier

8:59 pm on 23 December 2008

China says it is considering building an aircraft carrier to protect its interests and its territory.

The growth in Beijing's military spending has caused concern in the United States, Japan and Taiwan, which China claims as its own and has vowed to bring under mainland rule, by force if necessary.

China has already sent warships to the Gulf of Aden to fend off Somali pirates, which is one way - analysts say - of taking a greater role in global security without raising neighbours' hackles.