China has officially taken receipt of a refurbished Soviet aircraft carrier, marking a new era for the People's Liberation Army Navy.
Zhang Zheng, the captain of the vessel, called Liaoning, pronounced the arrival of "China's carrier era", which comes at a time of increasing regional tensions and a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
'It has important significance in effectively safeguarding national sovereignty'
The handover, however, is being seen as more symbolic than carrying any real intent, particularly as the Army Navy doesn't have a single fighter jet to land on it massive runway deck.
The Vessel is expected to be used more for training than actual operations, with the first Chinese-built carrier scheduled to enter service in 2015.
Premier Wen Jiabao described the acquisition as "a milestone in the PLA's history" and a move that "embodies a major achievement in China's weaponry and equipment development".
A statement on China's official military website, read: "It has important significance in effectively safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development benefits, and advancing world peace and common development."
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