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China said gearing up for home-built aircraft carrier

2013/08/17 21:27:47

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) China has reportedly stepped up the pace of production of its first home-built aircraft carrier to fuel its naval modernization, which has been under pressure since the recent launch of a similar vessel in India.

Members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee have recently been visiting the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai to urge production of the new carrier to be speeded up, Reuters reported Saturday.

A rear admiral in China's navy had been cited in earlier Chinese news reports that the country is building its next aircraft carrier in secret and that it will be larger than its existing one in order to carry more fighter planes.

A Russian news report suggested Aug. 15 that China should consider the option of a nuclear-powered carrier that uses electricity to directly drive the screws and catapult the fighters off the flight deck.

China has been concerned about India's launch of its first locally built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, on Aug. 12, which made India the fifth country capable of building such a ship after the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and France, Chinese media reported.

Japan also launched its first Izumo-class helicopter destroyer Aug. 6 as the country's biggest warship since the Second World War, prompting widespread concern in China, the reports said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)