China commissioned CNS Shandong（中国人民解放军海军山东舰） — its second aircraft carrier and the first such ship wholly designed and built in the country — in Sanya, Hainan province, on Tuesday afternoon.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, took part in the commissioning ceremony for the colossal ship, named after the eastern province of Shandong, at a naval base in the coastal city and personally handed the military flag to Senior Captain Lai Yijun, its commanding officer.
Before Tuesday, the People's Liberation Army Navy had a sole carrier — CNS Liaoning — which was originally a Soviet-era vessel and was extensively refitted at the Dalian shipyard in Liaoning province. It went into service in September 2012 and has executed several long-range operations with other warships in its carrier battle group.
Its construction began in November 2013 at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp, the world's largest shipbuilder. It was launched in April 2017, conducted its maiden sea trial in May last year, and conducted eight other sea trials before being commissioned.
According to information published by the Navy, CNS Shandong displaces at least 50,000 metric tons of water. It has conventional propulsion systems and uses a ramp to launch J-15 fighter jets, the spearhead of China's carriers, like CNS Liaoning. The ship also deploys several types of helicopters.
"In order to oppose the imperialist aggression, we must establish a powerful navy." Chairman Mao Zedong