China confirms building second flat top aircraft carrier

China says it’s building new aircraft carrier "independently designed in China" amid maritime disputes in South China Sea

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

The Liaoning cruises back to port Oct. 30, 2012, after its first sea trial in Dalian, China.

People’s Republic of China confirmed on Thursday of building its second aircraft carrier which raised its neighbours' worries of Beijing’s assertive claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said second one was designed in China being built in the port of Dalian, northwest China.

"China has a long coast line and a vast maritime area under our jurisdiction. To safeguard our maritime sovereignty, interests and rights is the sacred mission of the Chinese armed forces," Yang said.

Foreign military and Chinese analysts have been released for months of satellite images, photographs and news stories of the second carrier’s building.

China already has one second hand aircraft carrier which brought from Ukraine in 1998, named Liaoning, and the second one’s design is following the first carrier experiences, Yang said.

The carrier has a displacement of 50,000 tonnes, would be able to operate the Shenyang J-15 fighter jet and unlike the 60,000-tonne Liaoning, have a ski-jump take-off.

Chinese aircraft carrier program is a state secret operation, so the spokesman did not give any information about when the carrier would enter service.

A naval expert from Shanghai, spoke in anonymity said that tensions in the South China Sea made the carrier particularly necessary to furthering Chinese interests, Reuters reported.

"The US has many aircraft carriers that are traveling all over the place in the South China Sea, which has caused problems for us," he said.

"Having a second aircraft carrier reduces the pressure on us. It will keep us from being bullied."

China claims almost all the South China Sea, which Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims where about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

China has been building up military facilities like runways on the islands' controls.

China says that it has no hostile intent in the sea and wants to manage the dispute through other claimants in bilateral relations.

Chinese Defence Ministry recently had set up a new hotline with Vietnam to solve bilateral problems and to calm tensions, the spokesman said.

Beijing has been involved in diplomatic spat with Washington over ship and aircraft patrols in the region which the US reported recently that China could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.

TRTWorld and agencies