World Media

China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier sets out for sea trials

China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier sets out for sea trials

BEIJING-China's first domestically produced aircraft carrier began sea trials Sunday, the latest step forward in the country's quest to advance its military footprint.

China's second aircraft carrier, known till now only as "Type 001A", set out for the trials this morning, according to official news agency Xinhua, while state broadcaster CCTV said the ship left a port in northeastern China around 6:45 am (2245 GMT Saturday).

Video footage aired by CCTV revealed the enforcing ship accompanied by a number of smaller sized military craft leaving a wharf and going out to sea under grey skies.

China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is a repurposed Soviet ship bought from Ukraine, which went into service in 2012.

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The 50,000 tonne vessel, when it joins the Chinese navy in 2020, will put it on par with the other leading navies in the world, giving the Asian giant its second aircraft carrier, along with it becoming the first to be designed and built entirely in the country.

The ownership of a homegrown carrier locations China amongst the few military powers with such vessels, consisting of the United States, Russia and Britain. The new Chinese carrier can neither sale for longer without refueling than the above mentioned US carriers, nor can it carry as many planes.

In fact, the USS Gerald R Ford, the United States' newest carrier and at $13 billion, the most expensive warship ever built, has a host of problems.

Chinese experts estimates the carrier could be ready for action in about two years after further tests.

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Police were yesterday trying to piece together what prompted the attack. "They attacked three people and stabbed them. We want our communities to live in harmony‚ practising their religions without fear".

"With the Chinese carriers substantially inferior in capacity to the U.S. super-carriers, the balance of forces between the two navies will only change marginally rather than substantially", he said.

There was also speculation early last week that President Xi Jinping may oversee the sea trial during his trip to Dalian, where he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Beijing sees democratically governed Taiwan as a renegade part of its territory to be brought back into the fold and has not ruled out reunification by force.

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