The Xinhua online forum reported that during his meeting with the Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the Chinese Minister of National Defense, Liang Guanglie, expressed his intention to build an aircraft carrier. Xinhua stated that this is the first time China has made an official announcement on this issue.
Source: Xinhua, March 21, 2009
In early March, Xinhua published several news articles to prepare for the open announcement, including interviews with retired high-ranking military officials, statements from navy commanders, and quotes from foreign newspapers regarding China’s intentions of building the aircraft carrier. Those articles include the following: