China put its best foot forward with handshakes and smiles, as it opened a secretive base to a rare visit by journalists, in an effort to allay Asia’s growing fears about the country’s strategic intentions.
China has advertised its military ambitions with displays of new hardware, from its first test flight of a stealth fighter jet in early 2011 to its launch of a fledgling aircraft carrier – both technologies that need further years of development.
The moves come as China jangles nerves in Asia and the United States with increasingly bold moves to assert territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.
But on an annual trip to a Chinese military base — this year, for the first time, one outside of Beijing — officers were at pains to show they had nothing to hide and the world had nothing to fear.
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