China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials near Dalian

  • China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials near Dalian

China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials near Dalian

China's very first locally produced carrier began sea trials Sunday, state media stated, a landmark in Beijing's enthusiastic strategies to modernise its navy as the Asian huge presses its claims in disputed local waters.

The yet-to-be-christened Type 001A carrier left a shipyard at the northeastern port of Dalian at 6.45am, Xinhua said, and sailed out of the port half an hour later.

Video footage aired by CCTV revealed the enforcing ship accompanied by a number of smaller sized military craft leaving a wharf and going out to sea under grey skies.

What will be at test is the carrier 's reliability and stability with regards to its power systems.

The conventional-fuel-powered vessel is about 300 meters long.

The state-run China Daily newspaper reported Sunday that the new ship will do what a carrier "is supposed to do: running combat-ready patrols and safeguarding the nation's maritime sovereignty and interests".

The possession of a native aircraft carrier places China among the few military powers with such vessels, including the United States, Russia, Britain and India.

Its design was based on China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was bought from Ukraine and refurbished.

Military observers have been watching for signs the new aircraft carrier was about to start sea trials after photos of it being moved from its berth by tugboats were published by state media on April 23.

However, even with the potential development of further carriers, it could still be years before China's navy is able to deploy its fleet effectively, said Tsang.

China's defence budget plan increased 8.1 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($175 billion) in 2018, however it is still just about one-quarter that of the United States.

This comes on the back of a speech given on April 12 by Chinese President Xi Jinping announcing the Chinese Communist Party planned on building a "world-class" navy.

China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have claims to the South China Sea, while Beijing also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.