State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has said it plans to speed up the process of developing nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines.
CSIC manufactures ships and submarines and has made China's first conventionally-powered aircraft carrier which is currently undergoing mooring tests.
In a statement on Tuesday, CSIC said it plans to "speed up the process of making technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet submarines, maritime unmanned intelligent confrontation systems, maritime three-dimensional offensive and defensive systems, and naval warfare comprehensive electronic information systems”.
Military experts said China may have achieved initial progress in its research of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and it may not be too long before authorities confirm the news.
"I think we can say that China has made major breakthroughs in the implementation of nuclear power on large vessels," Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
In a veiled reference in November, CSIC Chairman Hu Wenming said in a speech at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company construction site in Liaoning Province for China's first domestically made aircraft carrier that China is capable of designing and building any type of aircraft carrier.
"Hu's speech indicates that China can build aircraft carriers powered by diesel, gas or nuclear power," Li said. "The country has mastered all the fundamental core technologies, including ski-jump and catapult-assisted launch technologies.
"In the future, China's national interests will continue to expand overseas. Without a fleet of large nuclear-powered vessels, the Chinese navy cannot sail for a long time to faraway waters," Li added.