The Shandong and China's growing naval power

The country's second aircraft carrier is both a prestige project and a means to assert its claims

Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a politically gruelling year in style, formally commissioning the country's first domestically built aircraft carrier Shandong in the southern island of Hainan this week.

Flanked by Vice-Premier Liu He (lead trade negotiator with the United States) and Central Military Commission vice-chairman Zhang Youxia, Mr Xi celebrated the latest milestone of China's emergence as a global naval power.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2019, with the headline 'The Shandong and China's growing naval power'. Subscribe