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China nears launch of third carrier, turning up pressure on Taiwan

Advanced catapult and new strategic options propel Beijing's maritime ambitions

China's new Type 003 aircraft carrier is seen under construction at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. Its launch has been delayed by the city's COVID-19 lockdown.   © CSIS/High Resolution/Maxar Technologies

BEIJING -- China reportedly plans to launch its third aircraft carrier as early as this month, allowing Beijing to maintain a constant military presence in the East and South China seas and erode U.S. clout in the region.

Expected to be named Jiangsu, following the convention of naming carriers after coastal provinces, the vessel is China's second domestically built aircraft carrier. It will likely be commissioned as early as 2024, giving China the world's largest fleet of carriers after the U.S.

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