China's Aircraft Carrier Ends Maiden Trip: Xinhua

  • 12:00 AM, August 15, 2011
  • 1972
China's first aircraft carrier has returned to port after completing a "smooth" set of sea trials designed to test its capabilities, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Aug. 15. The 990-foot ship docked in the northeastern port of Dalian on Aug. 14 after five days of trials that have sparked international concern about the country's widening naval reach. The carrier tests came amid heightened tensions over a number of maritime territorial disputes involving China, notably in the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas and is claimed by several countries. Dockworkers set off fireworks as the vessel, a refitted old Soviet carrier called the Varyag, returned to port, Xinhua said, adding that the ship would now undergo further work and testing. "The sea trials carried out by the aircraft carrier on its maiden voyage went smoothly," it said.
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