China launches Fujian, its third aircraft carrier

China launches Fujian, its third aircraft carrier

China has officially launched its third aircraft carrier, which has been given the name of Fujian, the province that faces the island of Taiwan. The state network reported it CCTV, recalling that the new Navy unit joins the Liaoning (the first built on a hull bought from Ukraine after the dissolution of the USSR) and the Shandong, the first developed entirely in China. Fujian’s launch came weeks behind the original timing for the wave of Covid-19 that hit Shanghai, leading to the lockdown and halt of activities, including the shipyards where she is under construction.

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by our correspondent Gianluca Modolo

Fujian, also known as “Type 003”, is further evidence of Beijing’s military superpower ambitions, being the “first catapult aircraft carrier entirely designed and built” by Chinese experts, the company said. CCTV. The announcement, which was considered imminent, nevertheless matured at a stage in which tensions between China and the US have increased significantly in recent weeks due to pressure from the People’s Liberation Army on Taiwan, which Beijing considers a side ” inalienable “of the Chinese territory, destined for reunification even with the use of force, if necessary.

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China has repeatedly sailed with its warships across the strait that separates the island from the mainland also to oppose the passage of US and allied military units engaged in “freedom of navigation” operations, and has used military jets for the its forays (about 500 this year versus nearly a thousand in 2021) in the Taipei air defense identification area.

According to military experts, China could have between 5 and 6 total aircraft carriers in its fleet by 2030, a period in which the launch of the first nuclear-powered unit is also expected to ensure greater navigation autonomy, like the American ones.

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