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China launches third aircraft carrier Fujian

June 17, 2022

China has launched the Fujian aircraft carrier, a warship developed and built domestically. It marks a major military advancement for the country.

The launch of the carrier named Fujian in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
It is the first such ship to be designed and built entirely within the countryImage: Li Gang/Xinhua/picture alliance

Chinese state media on Friday announced the launch of the country's third aircraft carrier, marking a major military advance for China.

The launching ceremony for the carrier named Fujian was held in Shanghai's Jiangnan shipyard.

China's state broadcaster CCTV described it as the "first catapult-type aircraft carrier wholly designed and built by China."

Fujian sees grand launch

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

Named after Fujian province, the carrier is more technically advanced than others in the fleet, and is only the second carrier fully built in China. 

The Fujian is expected to take years to reach operational capacity. No date has been announced yet for entry into service.

The development comes as tensions between China and the US have increased in recent weeks. Last week, China's Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said China would do anything in its power to stop Taiwanese independence. Last month, US President Joe Biden had said Washington would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan. 

"Sailing and mooring tests will be carried out as planned after the ship is launched," CCTV reported.

China has two other aircraft carriers in service. The Liaoning was commissioned in 2012, and the Shandong entering service in 2019.These warships use a ski-jump style platform for jets to take off and do not have a catapult system.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to build a "fully modern" force rivalling the United States military by 2027. 

tg/aw  (AFP, AP, Reuters)