China capable of building aircraft carrier without outside assistance, military expert says
People's Daily Online
By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online) 17:18, March 21, 2016
Cao Weidong, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, recently said in an interview that China is capable of building aircraft carriers independently.
Cao's statement came after Russian media quoted an expert as saying that Russia should build an aircraft carrier for China or transfer its technology to China in order to help China compete with the U.S. In his interview with CCTV, Cao said that aircraft carriers designed by Russia are not necessarily suitable for China's conditions. Cao also stated that China is already constructing its second aircraft carrier, following the first one designated by Liaoning.
In the mean time, Russia is preparing to send its only operating aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, to Mediterranean waters off the Syrian coast, according to TASS Russian News Agency. After that, the carrier will be sent to a factory for repairs and updates. This means that Russia will have no in-service carriers for the next two to three years.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, shipyards used to build aircraft carriers were located in Ukraine. However, Russia-Ukraine cooperation ended when conflicts burst out between the two countries. Russia had no choice but to construct its own shipyards. However, the industry still lags behind because of the economic slowdown in Russia.
Conceived of in the early 1980s and commissioned in 1990, Admiral Kuznetsov is the sole operating aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy. Its sister ship, Varyag, was never completed, and was eventually sold to China for a floating hotel development.
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