China has launched a new aircraft carrier, boosting its military presence amid rising tensions in the region.
It is the country’s second aircraft carrier, after the Liaoning, and the first to be made domestically.
State media said the unnamed ship was “transferred from dry dock into the water” in the north-eastern port of Dalian. Previous reports said it would be operational by 2020.
It comes amid heated rhetoric between the US and North Korea in recent days.
China has had only one operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which it bought from Ukraine and refitted.
The US has deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, prompting an angry reaction from North Korea. China has urged calm.
There is also the ongoing issue of competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The new carrier will deploy Shenyang J-15 fighter jets, but is considered by many military observers to be technologically inferior to the 10 carriers used by the United States navy, says the BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.
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