In a rare praise, a leading state-run Chinese daily has lauded the launch of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, saying it marks a “firm stride” towards domestic production of hi-tech arms.

“The launch of India’s home-built aircraft carrier is indeed worth celebrating, because it marks a firm stride toward the indigenisation of arms,” an article on the state-run Global Times’ website said.

“The launch also shows that the Indian government has had preliminary success in localising arms production,” the report said, noting that India has invested billions of dollars in the construction, research and development of domestic shipbuilding.

The article also said that together with the inauguration of domestically built nuclear submarine INS Arihant, the chances of ruling Congress Party in next year’s election will be boosted.

However, the article, published onTuesday, noted that the launch of INS Vikrant and Japan’s helicopter carrier should serve as a warning for China.

“Some Chinese scholars emphasise that India has yet to grasp the key technologies of the carrier and that it will rely on other countries to maintain and upgrade the carrier.

“But it is also a fact that many countries are supporting India in developing advanced weaponry, not only for profit but also to balance China’s power,” said Liu Zongyi, an assistant research fellow with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, in the article.

“India is well aware of the intention of the Western countries. Some politicians and media outlets in Indian deliberately stress the role of India’s military buildup in containing China so as to please those traditional powers,” it claimed.