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China’s first operational aircraft carrier Liaoning has arrived in Hong Kong.

Its first trip outside mainland China is part of the events marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China.

Its follows Xi Jinping’s visit last week, his first as Chinese president.

During his trip, which was marred by protests, he warned that any challenge to the Beijing central government was “impermissible”.

Hong Kong’s political climate has grown tense in recent years with increasing calls for self-determination and even independence.

The Liaoning’s presence has been viewed by some as a show of force by Beijing, but many in Hong Kong have also queued for free tickets to tour the ship.

It is accompanied by three warships, and will be anchored near Hong Kong’s Tsing Yi island for five days.

China is in the midst of building its first domestic carrier, Ministry of National Defense officials confirmed last week.

During a press conference, spokesman Col. Yang Yuju told reporters construction was underway.

“After taking into account a range of factors, the relevant authorities launched work on developing a second aircraft carrier, and we are now undertaking our own indigenous design and construction,” he said, according to a translation of a Chinese language transcript of the Dec. 31 press conference.
“We have a long coastline and a broad maritime jurisdiction… Defending national maritime security, and safeguarding sovereignty over territorial seas and over maritime rights and interests, are sacred duties of China’s armed forces.”

Follow on reports from Chinese state-controlled press said the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) new carrier was to field its Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark – an unlicensed copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker – displace about 50,000 tons and retain the short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) configuration of its Soviet-era carrier test platform –

China is in the midst of building its first domestic carrier, Ministry of National Defense officials confirmed last week. During a press conference, spokesman Col. Yang Yuju told reporters construction was underway. “After taking into account a range of factors, the relevant authorities launched work on developing a second aircraft carrier, and we are now undertaking our own indigenous design and construction,” he said, according to a translation of a Chinese language transcript of the Dec. 31 press conference. “We have a long coastline and a broad maritime jurisdiction… Defending national maritime security, and safeguarding sovereignty over territorial seas and over maritime rights and interests, are sacred duties of China’s armed forces.” Follow on reports from Chinese state-controlled press said the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) new carrier was to field its Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark – an unlicensed copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker – displace about 50,000 tons and retain the short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) configuration of its Soviet-era carrier test platform –

 

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