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Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning to boost PLA combat capacity: experts

(People's Daily Online)    17:06, January 09, 2018

Chinese military experts on Monday praised the country’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning’s increasing fighting capacity after it reportedly passed through the Taiwan Strait heading south on Jan. 5.

“The Liaoning is an experimental vessel that is used for scientific purposes. It undertakes missions to provide data and services for China’s future aircraft carrier construction. It also serves as a training center, which can train qualified battle commanders and pilots, in an effort to create the country’s own aircraft carrier formation,” Cao Weidong, a renowned military expert, told CCTV.

Cao’s remarks come after the Liaoning, along with several other navy vessels, reportedly entered the Taiwan Strait in January 2018. This is not the first time that the military vessel has passed through the sensitive area. It entered the Taiwan Strait en route to Hong Kong in July 2017, while the earliest similar cruise took place in January 2017.

According to experts, the vessel started to conduct comprehensive drills in 2016. It has already formed strong initial operational capability, and can be used to strike targets both onshore and at sea.

“We’ve already trained many pilots, improving the battle performance of the shipboard aircraft. The whole aircraft carrier formation’s combat capability will see a significant rise in the future,” added Cao.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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