China launches first indigenous aircraft carrier

BEIJING — China on Friday launched its third aircraft carrier, the first such ship to be designed and built entirely within the country.

The 003 new-generation aircraft carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard in Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier, state media reports said.

State broadcaster CCTV showed assembled navy personnel standing beneath the massive ship as water jets sprayed over its deck and multi-colored streamers flew and colorful smoke was released.

The launch comes as China seeks to extend the range and power of its navy.

Equipped with the latest weaponry and aircraft-launch technology, the ship’s capabilities are thought to rival those of Western carriers, as Beijing seeks to turn its navy, already the world’s largest, into a multi-carrier force.

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