News / Asia

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Begins First Sea Trial

The 300-meter former Soviet carrier, originally called the Varyag, as she is overhauled in the northeast port of Dalian, northwest China's Liaoning province on July 4, 2011.
The 300-meter former Soviet carrier, originally called the Varyag, as she is overhauled in the northeast port of Dalian, northwest China's Liaoning province on July 4, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

China's first aircraft carrier steamed out of Dalian harbor for a sea trial Wednesday, providing a burst of national pride for China's people but a source of concern for many of its neighbors.

The short voyage by the refitted Ukrainian carrier ends weeks of speculation about the date of the vessel's initial sea trial. A defense Ministry statement said the carrier, formerly known as the Varyag, would soon return to harbor for continued refit and test work.

Chinese officials have downplayed the significance of the carrier, saying it will be used for scientific research, experiments and training. But the ship has become a symbol of China's rising military power at a time of tension with several of its neighbors over competing maritime claims in the East and South China seas.

For Chinese, the long anticipated launch has sparked a wave of interest in aircraft carriers. The official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday carried photos of other nations' carriers in a front-page space normally reserved for publicity shots of Hollywood starlets.

A day earlier it featured photos of another Soviet-era carrier which is being converted to a hotel in the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing.

The sea trial had been widely expected to take place on July 1 to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the founding of China's Communist Party. But Wednesday's brief defense ministry statement said the timing is in line with the schedule of the refit and will "not take a long time."

The stripped-down hull of the Varyag was purchased from Ukraine and towed to a shipyard in Dalian in 1998. China is expected to use knowledge gained from the process to build at least three more carriers.

Ministry spokesmen say that despite its carrier program, China remains committed to a naval strategy of defending its own shores. But some of China's neighbors worry the new vessel could be deployed as part of a battle group to project Chinese power in disputed areas including the South China Sea.

The ministry has also said the process of training pilots how to fly planes off an aircraft carrier is "in progress."

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid