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The Liaoning, China's first and only aircraft carrier, at sea on Dec. 24, 2016.   © Kyodo

China flexing aircraft carrier muscle, but so far it's a 'paper tiger'

New vessel has nowhere near capability of US ships, but still boosts Xi ahead of key meeting

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- In an unprecedented show of force, China dispatched its first and only aircraft carrier on an extensive training mission amid rising tensions with the U.S. late last year.

The Liaoning left its home port in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on Dec. 20, a month before Donald Trump's inauguration as the new U.S. president, and entered the Western Pacific via the East China Sea.

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