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China plays down media reports of selling aircraft carrier to Pak

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

on Tuesday played down that plans to sell its first 'Liaoning' to Pakistan, saying it follows certain principles while exporting its naval to other countries.

A Pakistani newspaper on February 10 cited the Chinese and Russian as stating that "the has decided to sell its first and only to ..for a yet-undetermined price in order to upgrade the Navy's capabilities."

Such a move will make the Navy more competitive against India, which has an operational aircraft carrier, the report said, adding that 'Liaoning' will be resold to Pakistan after a "large-scale upgrade."

When asked for her comment on the report, said, "I have not seen the report you mentioned."

"But has always followed principles regarding exports of its naval to other countries," she said, without elaborating.

Earlier report said China, which shares close linkages with the Pakistan military, is currently building four modern naval for the

experts, however, termed the media report of the sale of the to Pakistan as false.

The has never disclosed any plan regarding such a deal, state-run here reported.

It also said that its could not find the Chinese media report regarding the sale cited by the Pakistani newspaper.

It is a groundless allegation and complete falsehood, Song Zhongping, a expert and commentator, told

As China's first-ever aircraft carrier, the acts as both training vessel and combat warship, that there is a zero possibility of reselling it, and does not have spare carriers to sell to Pakistan, Song noted.

The is the only Chinese in active service, and the country's first domestically developed carrier, known as the Type-001 A, is still undergoing sea trials.

Song said that "such reports have no credibility even judging from Pakistan's perspective, as the country's navy pursues an onshore defense strategy, which means it does not need a carrier. And its defense budget cannot afford an aircraft carrier or maintain one.

Pakistan's main focus is to maintain its own strategic nuclear capabilities rather than to promote the improvement of conventional capabilities, especially the improvement of offshore capabilities. (Buying China's carrier) does not meet the actual needs of Pakistan, Song said.

China is reportedly building a third aircraft carrier.

Although it has been widely speculated that China will have at least five aircraft carriers, including two nuclear-powered ones by 2030-2035, China's defence ministry has not yet revealed a plan for future carriers, said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 16:10 IST