China announces aircraft carrier construction for first time

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The Chinese government has for the first time officially revealed that it has launched a programme to build an aircraft carrier, an already widely-known project that has recently stirred debate over China’s naval intentions and capabilities.

A report released this year by the State Oceanic Administration said China’s progress had even been quicker than expected, with the first Chinese-made carrier set to be ready in 2014, a year ahead of the schedule.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, says China’s leaders decided at a meeting of the Communist Party’s powerful Politburo in April 2009 to back the programme, which has been largely kept quiet, as part of a larger strategy for China to “build itself up as a maritime power.”

Some Chinese leaders were reluctant to announce the plans, the report said, because it would “fan concerns in neighbouring countries”.

Full story: China for the first time reveals aircraft carrier plan

Tags : china
Steven Nelson (admin)