China has launched its third aircraft carrier, the first to be entirely designed and built in the country, marking a major military advance for the Asian superpower.
This announcement comes amid tensions between China and the United States It has increased in recent weeks Because of Beijing’s clamor toward self-governing Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province that must be seized by force if necessary.
Launched at the Shanghai shipyard with great fanfare, Fujian is more technically advanced than other Chinese carriers.
State broadcaster CCTV said it was “the first aircraft carrier with a slingshot designed and built entirely by China”.
It will be years before Fujian reaches operational capability, and the Ministry of Defense has not announced a date for entry into service.
CCTV reported that “the sailing and mooring tests will be carried out as planned after the launch of the ship.”
China has two other aircraft carriers in service. Liaoning was commissioned in 2012, and Shandong entered service in 2019.
Unlike Fujian, they use a ski-jump-style platform to launch aircraft and do not have a catapult launcher system.
The United States has the largest number of aircraft carriers in service, with 11 ships, followed by China and Britain, with two carriers each, according to Guinness Defense.
Chinese warships have repeatedly sailed through the strait separating the island from the mainland, and have used fighter jets to fend off freedom-of-navigation patrols from the United States and its allies.
China’s Defense Minister Wei Fengyi warned his US counterpart last week that Beijing “will not hesitate to start a war, no matter the cost” if Taiwan Declaration of independence.
President Xi Jinping has overseen the reform of the People’s Liberation Army since coming to power in 2012, and has vowed to build a “totally modern” force that rivals the US military by 2027.
The growth of China’s armed forces comes at a time of rising geopolitical tensions as Washington looks to strengthen military alliances in the People’s Republic of China. Asia Pacific region.
Last year, the United States secured Historic deal with Britain to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia and have since conducted multiple arms sales to Taiwan, prompting angry reactions from Beijing.
Meanwhile, China brokered an unprecedented security agreement with the Solomon Islands this year that stunned Washington and its allies, raising fears of another Chinese military base in the Pacific.
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