World China U.S. navy South China Sea Every year on April 23, China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Day commemorates the founding of the service in 1949. This year’s celebrations have special significance as a chance to display the hardware that will help define the country’s future place among the world’s great powers. China is preparing to launch its first domestically produced aircraft carrier—the steam-powered Type 001A—for sea trials. Naval operations are scheduled from April 20 to 28 in the Bohai and Yellow seas, and Chinese experts believe the Type 001A could be put to sea in this window. China has two particularly pressing strategic concerns in East Asia: the continued independence of Taiwan and the dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea. Type 001A, China’s second aircraft carrier, is transferred from the dry dock into the water during a launch ceremony at Dalian shipyard in Dalian, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, April 26, 2017. The carrier could be set for its first sea trials this week. STR/AFP/Getty Images Recommended Slideshows 44 In Pictures: Every U.S. President Ranked From Best to Worst 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World 51 In Pictures: Top 50 U.S. Cities Ranked… Read full this story
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