China’s First Aircraft Carrier Commissioned for Service
After years of refitting and sea trials, China’s first aircraft carrier was finally delivered and commissioned to the People’s Liberation Army. China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. the Chinese Navy’s main contractor turned over the carrier during a ceremony at a naval base in the northeast city of Dalian.
The turnover was overseen by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Hu is also the chairman of the Central Military Commission endorsed the PLA flag and the naming certificate to the naval unit receiving the carrier. The carrier known previously as the Varyag was renamed Liaoning went through various refitting to install new engines and weapons along with a yearlong sea trials. The turn over ceremony also made China the 10th country in the world and the last of the five permanent member of the UN Security Council to have a carrier in active service.
Premier Wen Jiabao said that having an aircraft carrier in active service will be of great significance in enhancing the country’s defensive power and comprehensive strength. It’s also great in inspiring patriotism and national spirit. Wen also said that the delivery of the carrier is a milestone in the PLA history that embodies a major achievement in the country’s weaponry and equipment development and its national defense modernization.