China launches its first home-built aircraft carrier

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Warship is due to go into service in 2020 when it will join existing carrier, the Soviet-era Liaoning, bought secondhand from Ukraine

China has launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, which will join an existing one bought secondhand from Ukraine, amid rising tensions over North Korea and worries about Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The 50,000-ton carrier was towed from its dockyard just after 9 am on Wednesday after a ceremony in the northern port city of Dalian, where its predecessor, the Soviet-built Liaoning, also underwent extensive refurbishing before being commissioned in 2012, the Ministry of National Defence said.

Related: China’s first aircraft carrier launches with pride amid regional tensions

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Source: china
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