11:48 GMT +330 March 2017
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    China confirms plans to build aircraft carrier

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    China's defense minister has reaffirmed the country's plans to build its own aircraft carrier, the Sina news agency reported on Monday.

    BEIJING, March 23 (RIA Novosti) - China's defense minister has reaffirmed the country's plans to build its own aircraft carrier, the Sina news agency reported on Monday.

    It quoted Liang Guanglie as saying that "among the big world powers only China does not have an aircraft carrier, so it cannot be without an aircraft carrier forever."

    China's Ministry of National Defense spokesman said in December last year that aircraft carriers were "a reflection of a nation's comprehensive power" and were needed to meet the demands of a country's navy.

    Experts have suggested construction could be officially announced in April, when the Chinese Navy marks its 60th anniversary.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, China's first aircraft carrier will enter service by 2020.

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