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In show of power, China lands first jet on aircraft carrier

On Sunday, China landed a jet on its aircraft carrier for the first time. The vessel only recently came into service, and is part of a initiative to boost military spending.

By Reuters / November 25, 2012

A carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet on China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. China has successfully landed a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, which entered service two months ago, the country's official news agency confirmed Sunday.

Zha Chunming/Xinhua/AP

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Shanghai

China has carried out its first successful landing of a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, state media said on Sunday, a symbolically significant development as Asian neighbours fret about the world's most populous country's military ambitions.

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The home-built J-15 fighter jet took off from and landed on the Liaoning, a reconditioned Soviet-era vessel from Ukraine which only came into service in September this year.

China ushered in a new generation of leaders this month at the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, with outgoing President Hu Jintao making a pointed reference to strengthening China's naval forces, protecting maritime interests and the need to "win local war."

China is embroiled in disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam over South China Sea islands believed to be surrounded by waters rich in natural gas. It has a similar dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.

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