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While the United States was wrapping up its Valiant Shield 2022 exercise on 17 June, China launched its third aircraft carrier with all the fanfare. The launch was postponed twice due to logistical and technical issues. The aircraft carrier has been named Fujian with the hull number 18. It has been under construction at the world’s largest commercial shipbuilder, Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai, since 2018, though the initial work started in 2015.
The name Fujian shows the intent of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Fujian is the closest Chinese province to Taiwan, separated by the Taiwan Strait. It is the third Chinese aircraft carrier since China jumped into the fray in 2012. Once fully operational, Fujian would surely enhance Chinese capacity, but would it improve the capabilities? With three carrier strike groups (CSG), would PLAN challenge all the U.S. CSG in the Indo-Pacific? How is this going to affect India?
My (@InsightGL) latest article on a very relevant but troublesome topic of Chinese hegemony, arsenal buildup and warmongering, on India’s leading think-tank organization “Chanakya Forum”: