U.S. naval commander stays hush on China's aircraft carrier
Central News Agency
By Stanley Cheung
Hong Kong, Aug. 12(CNA) The commander of the U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group Seven refrained from commenting on his newest rival in the Pacific, the Chinese carrier "Varyag."
Rear Admiral Robert P. Girrier said he had no specific opinion regarding the sea trials of the Varyag when replying to questions from reporters on board the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.
The ships of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group arrived in Hong Kong Friday for a port call.
At the press event, Girrier repeatedly said, "This port visit has been planned for many months in advance. It is a routine port visit."
But he also stressed that they are watching the military capabilities in several countries.
"Our focus in the strike group is doing what we can to help them enhance stability and security in the region," Girrier said.
He reiterated that there are no plans for military engagements during their latest deployment.
When asked whether China is a threat, he said, "Our president and senior U.S. officials have mentioned that we welcome the rise of China as a stable, prosperous and peaceful country and China not as a threat."
The U.S. carrier, together with three other battleships and over 6,000 sailors, will stay in Hong Kong for four days.
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