China launches new warship type to boost military strength

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China's Navy on 28 June 2017 launched its biggest new generation destroyer that weighs around 10,000 tonnes at the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) in Shanghai. It is the first of four planned initial vessels in the class and would be the most modern destroyer in the PLAN after the Type 052D.

The new destroyer will be similar in size to the 8,000-10,000 tonne Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the main type now in use with the US Navy, reported South China Morning Post. The new Indian destroyers will be at least 2,000 tons lighter than the Chinese ship and will carry fewer than half the missiles of the Chinese unit.

"It is the symbol of the navy to achieve strategic transformation development", the People's Liberation Army Navy website said. The newest flattop is still being outfitted with equipment and undergoing testing. Back in April, China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier which is not likely to come into service before 2020.

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China claims nearly all the South China Sea that is believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas but other countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to the sea. The South China Sea has been claimed by several nations as a sovereign territory with the wrangling over possession going on for centuries.

China defending it's sovereignty China is quickly modernizing its navy as it takes a more prominent role on the world stage. Under the code-name "freedom of navigation", operations by the USA have sent ships and planes repeatedly to the disputed islands to make sure shipping lanes are open. Both sides have accused each other of "militarising" the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. And Trump isn't the only one who wants to expand the country's military budget.

In March, it announced it would increase its military budget by about 7% this year - the second year in a row that increases have been less than 10%, after almost 20 years of larger increases.

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