China to show new subs, says no threat to region

China plans to show off its nuclear submarines at a major international naval gathering this week, state media reported Tuesday, the first known public display of some its most potent seaborne weaponry.

The People’s Liberation Army, controlled by the Communist Party, has traditionally kept its best weaponry tightly under wraps, but recent years have seen a growing openness as it seeks to take its place among the ranks of modern, professional militaries.

By KEN TEH, Associated Press Writer

Vice Adm. Ding Yiping, the navy’s deputy commander, said the submarines would appear at Thursday’s international fleet review in the northern port city of Qingdao, but did not specify the types of vessels.

The submarine display, on the 60th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, is a sign of growing confidence in the navy’s rapid adoption of sophisticated new vessels and weapons systems, an upgrade that has spurred unease among its neighbors in the region.

Further acquisitions are believed to include one or more aircraft carriers, which could worry some nations, since Beijing has yet to specify the role a Chinese carrier would play, said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of U.S. Naval Operations.

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A Chinese Navy submarine is docked at Qingdao port, China's ... 
A Chinese Navy submarine is docked at Qingdao port, China’s Shandong Province, Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of its navy on April 23.(AP Photo/Guang Niu, Pool)

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