Fear of war in Taiwan grows as China launches a new 100,000-ton aircraft carrier with a massive bomber fleet rivaling the US Navy

CHINA has launched a massive new aircraft carrier capable of transporting a fleet of fighter jets equal to the strength of the US Navy for the first time.

The unveiling of the 100,000-ton Fujian comes as fears of a war over Taiwan mount after China’s President Xi Jinping ordered an expansion of the country’s military operations.

The Fujian is ceremoniously unveiled at a shipyard in Shanghai

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The Fujian is ceremoniously unveiled at a shipyard in ShanghaiCredit: AP

At a lavish ceremony at a Shanghai shipyard, the Type 003 carrier was unveiled as jets of water sprayed across its deck while releasing multicolored streamers and smoke.

Dozens of Navy personnel lined up in front of the ship and sang the national anthem at the ceremony, which was attended by senior military officials.

Ridzwan Rahmat, a Singapore-based analyst with defense intelligence agency Janes, described Mount Fujian as an “important milestone” in China’s capabilities.

A senior Taiwan defense official said China’s new airline is signaling the region’s intentions to project its power far into the Pacific.

In the future, China wants to go straight beyond Japan into the Pacific waters off Taiwan’s east coast, the official said.

“The launch of the new airline is a defiant statement,” they said.

It comes as Xi Jinping signed a decree allowing the “non-belligerent” use of the military, raising concerns paving the way for a war with Taiwan.

The new law will allow China’s military to “protect China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.”

Experts say the move mimics Vladimir Putin’s tactics ahead of his invasion of Ukraine, which he declared a “special military operation.”

Eugene Kuo Yujen, an analyst at the Taiwan Institute for National Policy Research, said: “I think it’s definitely a copy of Putin’s ‘special operations’ language.

“And after what happened in Ukraine, it sends a very ominous signal to Taiwan, Japan and the surrounding countries in the South China Sea.”

The Fujian will join China’s other two airlines, the Shandong, which entered service in late 2019, and the Liaoning, which China bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and converted domestically.

It is widely believed to have a more advanced technology for launching aircraft known as the Electromagnetic Catapult System or EMALS.

That means the ship will be able to launch a wider range of aircraft, including the new generation FC-31 stealth fighter, which will have heavier bomb loads and more fuel.

This will also allow transport and airborne early warning and surveillance aircraft to use the ship.

China is still refining its ability to operate the carriers and integrate them into battle groups, something the US Navy has been doing for decades.

China’s navy has been modernizing for more than a decade to become more of a “blue water” force capable of operating globally rather than being confined near mainland China.

Xi has pledged to build a “fully modern” military force to rival the US military by 2027.

But while the new ship represents a technological achievement for China, its fleet is still some way short of that of the United States, which has 11 aircraft carriers.

The aircraft carrier was launched with jets of smoke and water

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The aircraft carrier was launched with jets of smoke and waterPhoto credit: AFP

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5582483/taiwan-war-fears-china-launches-new-aircraft-carrier/ Fear of war in Taiwan grows as China launches a new 100,000-ton aircraft carrier with a massive bomber fleet rivaling the US Navy

DevanCole

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