China's new aircraft carrier left the northern port of Dalian in Liaoning Province on Sunday morning… to begin its sea trials.
"Commander, the preparations have been completed. I'm reporting to get permission to leave the dock."
The Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced the trials on its website saying:
"The aircraft carrier set out from Dalian Shipyard for sea trials … which will mainly test the reliability and stability of the carrier's power system and other equipment."
This is China's second aircraft carrier. The Chinese navy launched its first one in 2012, after remodelling a Soviet-built vessel purchased from Ukraine.
However, this new aircraft carrier is the first one fully designed and produced by Chinese shipbuilders, and is capable of transporting about 40 aircraft.
Experts say its development is aimed at boosting China's international presence.
"Everything including the radar and equipment in the carrier is based on China's own technology. This shows China's will to manufacture products in all industries, including the military."
Chinese news outlets say the country aims to build between four and six aircraft carriers by 2028 to compete with its chief Pacific rival.
"China's move will not only show its maritime power to countries in and around northeast Asia but also the United States. This will greatly affect the United States and China's fight for hegemony in the Pacific Ocean."
The aircraft carrier is expected to be formally commissioned by 2020… after China addresses any problems that arise during the trial.
Ko Roon-hee, Arirang News.