China to build second, larger carrier: report

SHANGHAI Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:18pm EDT

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will build a second, larger aircraft carrier capable of carrying more fighter jets, the official Xinhua news service reported late Tuesday, quoting a senior officer with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

The report comes after Chinese officials denied foreign media reports in September 2012 that China was building a second carrier in Shanghai.

"China will have more than one aircraft carrier ... The next aircraft carrier we need will be larger and carry more fighters," Xinhua quoted Song Xue, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Navy, as saying at a ceremony with foreign military attaches.

Song said foreign media reports saying the carrier was being built in Shanghai were still inaccurate but did not elaborate, according to the report.

China currently has one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was refitted from a Russian-made model. Considered by military experts to be decades behind U.S. carrier technology, it was originally intended to serve as a floating casino, but was turned to military use in the runup to a once-in-a-decade power transition in late 2012.

China is also building up other forms of military hardware, including a stealth fighter jet believed to be capable of landing on a carrier, drone aircraft and nuclear submarines.

China is alone among the original nuclear weapons states to be expanding its nuclear forces, according to a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Song also said the PLA Navy is building a naval aviation force for the Liaoning, and there will be at least two aviation regiments on one carrier, including fighters, reconnaissance aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft, electronic countermeasure (ECM) planes and rotary-wing aircraft, the report said.

Chinese officials have said the Liaoning will be used primarily for training purposes.

(Reporting by Pete Sweeney; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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Comments (5)
HagiMaraphali wrote:
Classic Style.. They increase military spending, but when natural disasters occur, they have the audacity to ask the west and others for humanitarian aid.. Please prioritise your funding.. Surely it would be prudent to look after your own population and citizens before spending exorbatant amounts on the armed forces????

Apr 23, 2013 12:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mithie wrote:
As a response to a previous comment – fact checking would show China has not asked for foreign aid in the recent Lushan 2013 earthquake.

Apr 24, 2013 3:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MikeBarnett wrote:
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will grow at China’s pace. The economy pays for the armed forces, and it develops and pays for the military’s technological tools. With a GDP growth rate 3.5 times that of the US, China’s armed forces will exceed the numbers and, in time, the quality of the US armed forces.

China also has an unarmed force of 400 ocean going vessels in the China Maritime Surveillance (CMS). They train Chinese sailors to serve on ocean going vessels for the CMS or for possible future transfers to the PLAN or merchant marine. They provide a peaceful law enforcement option to China’s maritime disputes with other countries.

In addition, the CMS ships could become naval destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and patrol vessels with the addition of guns and missiles, quickly adding 400 warships to the PLAN if necessary. When China builds and launches new aircraft carriers, they will need the escort vessels and trained crews that are common in US carrier battle groups. China’s PLAN plans for whatever the future may hold.

Apr 24, 2013 2:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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