China has launched its first domestically designed and built aircraft carrier, state media said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to transform its navy into a force capable of projecting power onto the high seas. Adorned with colorful ribbons, the Type 001A ship transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony in the northeastern port city of Dalian, according to official broadcaster CCTV.
The construction of China's second aircraft carrier appears to be imminent, reports the Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily.
China unveiled plans to build more aircraft carriers after commissioning its first last year, as the country extends its influence amid territorial disputes with neighbours including Japan and Vietnam. China already has the world’s second-biggest military budget after the US.
China's first aircraft carrier has entered into service, the defence ministry announced. The 300 meters Liaoning - named after the province where it was refitted - is a refurbished Soviet ship purchased from Ukraine (ex Varyag).