Taipei—China’s most modern aircraft carrier is expected to be commissioned by 2025, the Taiwan government said Tuesday, describing it as a major threat to be dealt with in the future.
China’s saber-rattling has intensified in recent years under President Xi Jinping, who has said the “reunification” of Taiwan must not be passed on to future generations.
China views self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring the self-ruled island under its control.
The Fujian, Beijing’s third and biggest carrier, was launched last year but authorities have not said when it will enter service.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said in a biennial report released Tuesday the Fujian is expected to be commissioned “after its completion of sea trials by 2025.”
The Fujian is China’s “first catapult aircraft carrier”. Its other carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, use a ski-jump-style ramp for takeoffs, said Huang Wen-chi, assistant deputy chief of Taiwan’s General Staff for Intelligence.
The building of the Fujian shows that China “is preparing for deep-sea operations”, said Huang.
“This is a major maritime threat that we must actively deal with in the future,” Huang told reporters.
He spoke as Taipei’s defense ministry said Beijing sent 22 warplanes and 20 naval ships around Taiwan between Monday and Tuesday morning.
The incursions came after the Shandong was detected on Monday around 60 nautical miles southeast of the island heading into the Western Pacific.
The Shandong entered service in 2019 while the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, was commissioned in 2012.
Beijing’s carrier development program is part of a massive military overhaul by Xi, who has vowed to build a “fully modern” force to rival the US military by 2027. AFP