China has plans to build more aircraft carriers and naval bases in various countries to strengthen its maritime capabilities.
China is also planning to build more naval bases across the world, especially in countries such as Pakistan, with whom it has close economic and military relations.
The bases are being planned for the six aircraft carriers. “China could have at least six aircraft carriers in the future,” a Chinese security expert was quoted by Global Times, as saying.
“In the long run, China needs to develop its own aircraft carrier battle teams, with at least six aircraft carriers, maritime forces led by guided missile destroyers, as well as attack submarines." Xu Guangyu, a senior advisor to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said.
China will soon finish building its second aircraft carrier, Type 001A. It would begin service with the PLA Navy by 2020. The country is also developing a third aircraft carrier, the Type 002, in Shanghai.
China will build about 10 more bases for the six aircraft carriers and they could be built around countries friendly to China, such as Pakistan, Guangyu added.
The bases could also be built in every continent, depending the willingness of the countries to cooperate with China.
China has also strengthened the battle capabilities of its first and lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. And it is training its own carrier-borne fighter pilots for the aircraft carrier.
China has enhanced the battle capabilities of its aircraft carrier, with more than 10 pilots from carrier-based jet fighters and commanders getting their certificates, making China one of the few countries capable of training its own pilots for aircraft carriers, the PLA Daily report said.
The Liaoning has been redesigned from an older Russian model, the Varyag. It was commissioned into the Chinese Navy in September 2012.