China building third aircraft carrier to protect ‘overseas interests’

China is building a third aircraft carrier based on American models as it seeks to fortify its claims in the disputed South China Sea+ and dominate the larger Indian Ocean region to realise its blue water aspirations.

Chinese experts said China is on course to build 5-6 aircraft carriers.

While the first aircraft carrier, Liaoning+ , is a refitted Soviet-era ship, the second is being built on the same model with more advanced facilities and is likely to enter service in 2020.

The latest carrier, under construction at Shanghai, is based on US models, state-run Global Times reported today.

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