China recently unveiled fresh images of its latest aircraft carrier, the Fujian, showcasing advanced features such as next-generation launch tracks capable of deploying a broader range of aircraft from its deck, according to sources.
The Fujian, publicly revealed in June 2022, surpasses the technological capabilities and size of China's Shandong and Liaoning carriers.
According to the Daily Mail, the domestically designed and built Fujian is a significant advancement over the Shandong, commissioned in 2019, and the Liaoning, acquired from Ukraine in 1998 and domestically refitted.
A Fujian officer, as seen in the footage, expressed determination to achieve combat readiness in the new year through meticulous and swift efforts.
Before sea trials, the Fujian underwent mooring tests, with the Global Times, a nationalistic English-language tabloid linked to the Communist Party, reporting that the trials will be carried out soon.
China aims to achieve combat readiness for the Fujian promptly, aligning with the People's Liberation Army's centennial goal in 2027.
The Fujian's launch coincides with escalating tensions in the Indo-Pacific region. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently emphasized China's commitment to reunify with Taiwan, which has heightened geopolitical complexities. Xi stated that preventing any attempt to separate Taiwan from China is non-negotiable, a stance contrary to Taiwan and the United States.
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The United States and China are experiencing heightened tensions, particularly in the South China Sea, where confrontations with the Philippines, a U.S. ally, have occurred.
President Joe Biden reaffirmed the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 with the Philippines, pledging military response in the event of an external armed attack in the Pacific Area.
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In an interview with Nikkei Asia Review, Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine ambassador to the United States, highlighted the South China Sea as a potential flashpoint, expressing concerns about global conflict escalation.
An editorial in the Global Times criticized Romualdez's comments, accusing him of favoring U.S. interests and cautioning the Philippines against becoming a pawn in the U.S.-China relations.
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