18 December 2019
China has commissioned its first domestically built aircraft carrier on the edge of the disputed South China Sea, in a move observers say is designed to both highlight its growing military clout and give pause to Japan, the United States and Taiwan.
The country’s second carrier, named the Shandong, entered service after a “grand commissioning ceremony” in front of 5,000 people and overseen by President Xi Jinping at a naval base in Sanya “at the doorstep of the South China Sea” on China’s southern Hainan Island, state media reported.
And while Tokyo might be more focused on the Liaoning, which is homeported in the northern city of Qingdao, closer to Japan’s immediate environs, “now there’s a need to keep another eye on the second carrier to the south,” said Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/12/2019