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China boosts military with new carrier

China has launched its first domestically designed and built aircraft carrier, state media said Wednesday, as the country seeks to transform its navy into a force capable of projecting power onto the high seas.

Beijing has embarked on an extensive project to build a “blue water” navy and modernize its two million-strong military, the world’s largest.

The country’s rapidly expanding military might includes a range of maritime defense capabilities, a fleet of attack submarines, and highly sophisticated anti-aircraft systems that prevent enemy vessels from nearing its coast. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that “all must be done” to improve the country’s battle capacities so it can “fight and win wars.”

China’s defense ministry has previously said the new carrier would displace 50,000 tons and use conventional rather than nuclear propulsion.

It is expected to carry China’s indigenous J-15 aircraft, along with other planes. (AFP)