Page Nav


Gradient Skin



Responsive Ad

China has launched its third aircraft carrier, which is named after the province that borders Taiwan

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - On Friday, China launched the Fujian , a third aircraft carrier named after the province that borders sel...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - On Friday, China launched the Fujian, a third aircraft carrier named after the province that borders self-ruled Taiwan, sending a message to adversaries as it modernises its military.

President Xi Jinping has prioritised rebuilding the world's largest military forces, aiming to project influence well beyond China's borders, despite the government's claims to the contrary.

At a celebration at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai, state media stated that champagne, colourful ribbons, water cannons, and smoke were used to commemorate the carrier's launch and formal designation.

At the ceremony, which was attended by senior officials including Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, dozens of navy soldiers lined up in front of the ship and sung the national song.

According to state media, the aircraft carrier has a full-length flight deck with a catapult launch system.

The Fujian will be joined by the Shandong, which will be commissioned in late 2019, and the Liaoning, which China purchased secondhand from Ukraine in 1998 and rebuilt at home.

China is still honing its ability to manage aircraft carriers and integrate them into combat groups, as the US has done for decades.

Only the United States has more aircraft carriers, with 11 of them.

The launch of the Fujian indicates the military's growing capabilities at a time when tensions between China and the United States are building over Beijing's claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command is based in Fujian, a coastal province located over the Taiwan Strait from Taiwan.

Taiwan is a vibrant democracy, but China believes the island to be its own territory and has never shied away from using force to reclaim it.

According to a senior Taiwan official acquainted with the island's security plans, China was signalling to the area with the aircraft carrier that it intended to project power far into the Pacific.

"They intend to directly infiltrate to the east of the first island chain, which covers Japan's Ryukyu Islands and Pacific waters off Taiwan's east," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Beijing views any regional collaboration as an intervention in the Taiwan problem or a challenge to China. The new carrier's launch is a forceful message."

Taiwan has been modernising its military forces, including deploying a new class of highly manoeuvrable stealth warships dubbed "aircraft carrier killers" because to its missile armament.

In a statement to Reuters regarding the new carrier, Taiwan's defence ministry stated that it "attaches significant weight" to China's military developments and "incorporates this into adversary situation analysis in a forward-looking manner."

Reponsive Ads