The building of China's second aircraft carrier is on course and the hull blocks have been joined together in the dock, a Chinese senior navy official said.
The building of China’s second aircraft carrier is on course and the hull blocks have been joined together in the dock, a Chinese senior navy official said. Wang Weiming, deputy chief of staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, told state-run Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) that the carrier is now awaiting fitting. China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is a refitted former Soviet Union-made carrier.
Earlier reports had said China began building its third aircraft carrier even as it raced to complete the construction of its second. While Liaoning is a refitted ship built by former Soviet Union and the second one being built on its model with more advanced facilities, the third one which is under construction at Shanghai is modelled on US carriers, state-run Global Times reported last month. “We will intercept any intruding aircraft and follow every military vessel in areas under our responsibility,” Wang said. “Our sailors should stay vigilant and be able to deal with emergencies at all times.”
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Another NPC deputy Li Yanming, political commissar of the Navy’s armaments department, said a first-class navy should be equipped with first-class armaments. He vowed better quantity, quality, scope, and functionality of naval armament manufacturing in 2017.
A third NPC deputy Wang Huayong, deputy political commissar of the Eastern Theater Command, allayed fears surrounding China’s increasing naval power. “Our entire forces are for defense purposes,” Wang said.
“The aircraft carrier is still in training and trial stage. The marines remain weak, and the number and quality of long-distance vessels do not meet expectations,” state-run Xinhua quoted him as saying.
“We have never gone to the doorstep of others to show off our military power,” he said and defended the construction of the islands in the disputed South China Sea saying that they are “mostly civilian in nature, a right bestowed by the international law”.