China building two aircraft carriers: Taiwan defense ministry report


TAIPEI – China is building two aircraft carriers that will be the same size as its sole carrier, a 60,000-tonne refurbished Soviet-era ship, according to a new Taiwanese Defense Ministry report on the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret, although Chinese state media have hinted new vessels are being built. The Pentagon, in a report earlier this year, said Beijing could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.

One of the new vessels is being built in Shanghai and the other in the northeastern city of Dalian, said the Taiwanese report, which was obtained by Reuters.

It gave no estimate for when construction would be finished.

The Chinese Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China is on a three-day national holiday to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two.

A Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman said details on the carrier program came from the ministry’s intelligence unit. He declined to give further details on the report, which was sent to parliament this week.

Taiwanese intelligence agencies closely monitor Chinese military developments because Beijing has never renounced the use of force to take back what it deems a renegade province.

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