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China Commissions 1st Aircraft Carrier

U.S. Navy photo

China has formally commissioned the country’s first aircraft carrier called Liaoning, according to a Bloomberg report.

This move comes less than a month after pictures surfaced of a new stealth fighter, reportedly the country’s second radar-evading plane.

Citing a Chinese Defense Ministry statement, Bloomberg reports the country wants the new 65,000-ton vessel to add to its defense and warfighting capabilities as well as “promote peace and common development.”

The ship was originally intended as Soviet Union’s second main battle carrier when construction began in the 1980s, according to a 2009 U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence report.

That ship, named the Varyag, was still unfinished at the time of the Soviet Union’s 1991 breakup, then Ukraine inherited the Varyag and sold it to China in 1998, according to Bloomberg.

After the U.S., China has the world’s second-largest defense budget, the report said.

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