China Launches Fujian, Its Third And Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier

The new carrier was named after the coastal province of Fujian which lies just across the Taiwan Strait from Taiwan, and is the home of the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army.

By Subhasish Dutta
Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:52 PM IST
Minute Read
China Launches Fujian, Its Third And Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier
Reuters Image Used For Representation.

Beijing | Reuters: China launched its third aircraft carrier on Friday, the domestically designed and built Fujian, state media reported, sending a statement of intent towards rival powers including the United States as it continues to modernise its military.

Champagne, colourful ribbons, water cannons and smoke were used to celebrate the warship's launch and official naming at a ceremony at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai.

Dozens of Chinese Navy personnel lined up in front of the ship and sang the national anthem at the ceremony, which was also attended by senior officials including Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The aircraft carrier features a full-length flight deck with a catapult launch system, according to state media.

The Fujian will join the Shandong, commissioned in late 2019, and the Liaoning, which China bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted domestically. Only the United States, which has 11 aircraft carriers, has more of such vessels.

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was a refit of the Soviet-era ship commissioned in 2012 followed by the indigenously built 2nd aircraft carrier Shandong in 2019.

China plans to have around five aircraft carriers, according to the official media. The next aircraft carrier China plans to build is expected to be nuclear-powered.

Ranked just below China, Britain has two in operation. The Fujian's launch demonstrates the Chinese military's increasing capability at a time of rising tension with the United States over Taiwan and Beijing's claims to the South China Sea.

The new carrier was named after the coastal province of Fujian which lies just across the Taiwan Strait from Taiwan, and is the home of the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army.

Taiwan is a self-ruled thriving democracy. But China considers Taiwan its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under Beijing's control.

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