Watch: After setting up indigenously-built aircraft carrier, China eyes bigger vessel
China on Sunday officially started conducted sea trial for its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier on Sunday.
This is China's second carrier after the earlier vessel launched in 2012 which was mainly a Soviet-era refit.
The new aircraft carrier left the shipyard in northeastern Dalian at 6.45am, Xinhua reported. Reports said China is in the process of building larger carriers in the years to come as the race hots up between the US and China to dominate the seas worldwide.
"Our country's second aircraft carrier set sail from its dock in the Dalian shipyard for relevant waters to conduct a sea trial mission, mainly to inspect and verify the reliability and stability of mechanical systems and other equipment," Xinhua said.
President Xi who now is the undisputed leader of the Communist state is personally overseeing the modernisation of the armed forces as Chinese military aircrafts and Navy engage in waters across the South China Sea in the disputed Spratly Islands and off Taiwan which China considers as a breakaway nation.
China is reportedly building another aircraft carrier in Shanghai to rival the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Ronald Reagan. State media has quoted experts as saying that the country needs at least six carriers. The United States operates 10 and plans to build two more.
The Chinese military is yet to name the new carrier which is temporarily called Type 001A weighing about 50,000 tonnes. The carrier is set to join the Chinese Navy in two years.
The new carrier will be able to host China's Shenyang J-15 fighter jets.