China Secretly Constructing an Aircraft Carrier
Chosun Ilbo
Song Ui-dal

China recently completed the final design for an Chinese aircraft carrier, and start in early August to construct it in secret at Jiang-nan Shipyard, Zhang-xing Island near Shanghai, reported the June 29th issue of Hong Kong Economic Daily(Jing-ji-ri-bao,) quoting (Chinese) high-level military sources.

Costing 3 billion yuan(390 million dollars), which takes up 3% of Chinese military budget, this carrier, due to be completed next year if everything goes well, has top speed 30 knots per hour and its maximal displacement is 78,000 ton. It is equipped with Russian engines and radars.

It will carry 54 fighter planes and 13 anti-submarine helicopters, and the introduction of latest Russian fighters(Su-33) is also in the works. When it would be in service in 2008, it is expected to boost Chinese naval strength.

The paper reports, "Zhang Guang-qin, vice minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, denied the rumor that a carrier is under construction. However, he emphasized it is the sacred duty of the Chinese navy to safeguard the country's sovereignty of territorial waters. It is in this context which they go for the construction of the carrier."