China may be signaling intent to build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers

In a since-amended news release, the state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), said the shipbuilding group will redouble efforts to achieve technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new nuclear-powered submarines, quieter conventionally powered submarines, underwater artificial intelligence-based combat systems and integrated networked communications systems. What is most interesting here is the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The company’s release then added that these breakthroughs are required for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to enhance its capability to globally operate in line with the service’s aim to become a networked, blue-water navy by 2025. The original news release has since been deleted from CSIC’s website. It was replaced by one missing all references to the details listed above. It instead states that the company “must resolutely implement Xi Jinping’s (Chinese President) thinking on strengthening our armed forces and take the building of a modern warfare system with Chinese characteristics as a guide to speed up breakthroughs in key core technologies.”

 

Image: The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning arrives in Hong Kong waters on July 7, 2017, less than a week after a high-profile visit by president Xi Jinping. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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