A senior official in China's shipbuilding industry said Beijing is considering whether to build an aircraft carrier, calling protection of maritime security and sovereignty "the sacred mission" of the navy, state media reported. However Zhang Guangqin, vice-minister of the commission on science, technology and industry for national defense, categorically denied reports that China already is building its first aircraft carrier in Shanghai. An aircraft carrier would be considered a major military advance, but Zhang said China has a defensive national defense policy and only 10% of the vessels it builds are for military use.
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