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China launches third, most advanced aircraft carrier named ‘Fujian’

WorldChina launches third, most advanced aircraft carrier named 'Fujian'

Beijing (The Times Groupe)- China launched its third and most advanced aircraft carrier Fujian on Friday, with new combat systems that experts say are fast catching up to the United States.

China has built its first catapult aircraft carrier, called “Fujian,” according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank, its electromagnetic catapult-assisted launch system is a major upgrade from its predecessors, the Liaoning and the Shandong.

Similar to the systems used by US aircraft carriers, the new system will allow China to launch a wider variety of aircraft from the Fujian faster and with more ammunition.

According to Xinhua, the Fujian is equipped with blocking devices and has a displacement of more than 80,000 tons at full load. After the launch, the ship will carry out mooring tests and navigation tests.

Funaiole, senior fellow at CSIS’s China Project, told CNN previously that the new ship would be the first modern aircraft carrier for the Chinese military.

“This is a pretty significant step forward,” he said. “They’ve really committed to building out a carrier program, and they continue to push the boundaries of what they’re able to do.”

Liaoning in the northeast and Shandong in the east are the names of China’s aircraft carriers. Fujian is the closest province to Taiwan, separated by a strait less than 80 miles (128 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point.

Despite never having governed Taiwan, China’s ruling Communist Party claims sovereignty over the self-governing democracy. China’s leader Xi Jinping has repeatedly said that “reunification” between China and Taiwan is inevitable and has refused to rule out using force.

China now has the world’s largest naval force, and aircraft carriers make up the core of any major power’s fleet. Massive ships serve as mobile air bases, allowing for the rapid and long-term deployment of aircraft and weapons.

China’s naval build-up comes amid growing geopolitical tensions with the US, which under President Biden is seeking to strengthen relations with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region to counter Beijing’s growing economic influence and military might.

As early as last year, Beijing stood in opposition to the AUKUS security pact between the US, UK, and Australia, an agreement that enables the three nations to exchange military information and technology to form a closer defense partnership in Asia. A naval exercise attended by members of the revived informal dialogue between the US, Japan, Australia and India, known as the Quad, has further unsettled Beijing. advanced aircraft carrier 

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