China`s first aircraft carrier leaves homeport for sea trials
Beijing: China`s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has left its home port of Qingdao in east China to conduct its first high seas exercises.
This was the first time that the carrier left its home port since it anchored there in February, People`s Liberation Army`s Naval division said on Tuesday.
The Liaoning and its crew members had conducted a series of scheduled tests and training drills in the homeport in Shandong Province during the period, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Currently, Liaoning is China`s only aircraft carrier, which was developed from an unfinished Russian-made carrier and was delivered to the Navy in September last year.
The 60,000 tonne carrier, a former Soviet ship brought from Ukraine and later refurbished locally is named `Liaoning`, after a Chinese province liberated from Japanese occupation in 1945.
The 300-metre carrier would raise the overall operational strength of the Chinese navy and help China to effectively protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, the Defence Ministry had said as the neighbourhood is witnessing high-voltage tensions in Sino-Japan ties over disputes in the East China Sea.
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