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Type 002

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Some new pictures of China’s new aircraft carrier have emerged…

To be clear, this will be the largest and most advanced aircraft carrier ever built outside the United States. It will likely be larger than even the Ulyanovsk class carriers laid down, but never completed by, the Soviet Union. This ship represents China’s maritime ambitions, and tells us a great deal about how much Beijing values the maritime domain. The construction would seem to conclusively demonstrate that China wants a long-range maritime force with expeditionary and high-intensity warfare capability. This will not surprise anyone familiar with the PLAN’s long-term development strategy, but it does seem to confirm that fleet’s investment priorities.

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