China has launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on 26 April amid rising tension over North Korea's missile threats and Beijing's claim over the disputed South China Sea. Though the new carrier is not expected to enter full service until 2020, China foriegn minister Wang Yi has spoken about the need for the Asian giant to raise its defensive capability to protect its growing overseas interests.
Speaking during a visit to Germany, the minister also said that Chinese people are spread all across the globe and there are as many as 30,000 Chinese-funded businesses registered in other countries. In a situation like this, Wang says: "China has ample reason to raise its own national defence capability to effectively protect its fair rights that are increasingly extending overseas."
Moreover, he also said that strengthening military would also help to "safeguard international and regional peace". Reuters reported that the leader saying that China would maintain a "defensive" military policy and had "no intention to engage in any kind of expansion".
Meanwhile, China's navy has been making headlines after a rising star admiral took command. Not only this, its first aircraft carrier sailed around self-ruled Taiwan and new warships have been spotted in most tricky places. However, not much is known about the country's domestic aircraft carrier programme as it is a state secret.
Though China never gives out many details about its military, the government has said that the new carrier is inspired from the first carrier, the Liaoning, which was bought from Ukraine in 1998.
The Chinese carriers are very different from the US navy's longer-range nuclear carriers. Rather they are Soviet-design ski-jump bows, which help fighter jets to take off from shorter decks. However, according to experts, they lack the powerful catapult technology for launching aircraft – an advanced technology that US carriers use.