China's first indigenous aircraft carrier is expected to conduct its maiden sea trials next month, even as the country's navy began building a third carrier vessel in Shanghai.
China had launched its second aircraft carrier in April 2017 after it commissioned the first carrier the Liaoning, a re-fitted Soviet Union-made vessel in 2012.
Taiwan's defence authorities last week in a statement on its website had said that the Liaoning, which passed the west side of the Taiwan Straits, was expected to embark on a long- distance voyage.
Last week the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post had reported that China has started building its third aircraft carrier with a hi-tech launch system.
The Shanghai shipyard is still working on the third aircraft carrier's hull, which is expected to take about two years.
Earlier reports said China plans to have four aircraft carriers in by 2030 to operate from the disputed South China Sea as well as Indian Ocean.
"Building the new carrier will be more complicated and challenging than the other two ships," a PLA official told Post.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)