Rabu, 8 Jun 2011

Var-Yag, The China Aircraft Carrier

A Chinese military official confirmed to media that China is working on its first aircraft carrier.

General Chen Bingde, the chief of China’s military staff, told the Hong Kong Commercial Daily that the Chinese regime got its hands on a refurbished former Soviet carrier that “is being built, but it has not been completed.”

Chen declined to give further details regarding the construction and progress of the vessel, originally called the “Varyag,” which was reported first purchased from Ukraine for $200 million in 1998. There have been a number of reports regarding its existence and progress since.

The Daily reported that the ship is being constructed in the northeast port of Dalian and will be ready for testing by the end of this year.

"It would have been better for us if we acted sooner in understanding the oceans and mapping out our water capabilities earlier,” Chen told the newspaper.

The paper notes that the ship weighs 67,500 tons and is 990 feet long.

The United States has expressed concerns regarding China’s growing military presence in the Pacific Ocean, noting that the regime is developing long-range ballistic missiles that are capable of penetrating the armor of its own aircraft carriers. Reports have also emerged that China is attempting to build stealth fighter jets.

And while Chinese officials—including Chen—have recently attempted to downplay its military might in recent visits with U.S. officials, some have argued otherwise.

“China has committed to developing aircraft carriers, new nuclear submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, outer space combat capabilities, advanced stealth fighters, and anti-aircraft missiles in recent years. Are they not all targeted at the United States?” a May 22 article by Taiwan’s Central News Agency argued.

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