Chinese aircraft carrier
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China prepares to launch first aircraft carrier

8 June 2011 Last updated at 10:33 BST

The head of China's General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has confirmed that China's first aircraft carrier is under construction.

The carrier, a remodelled vessel from the Ukraine, is being built in the north-east port of Dalian and has been one of China's worst-kept secrets, analysts say.

At the same time Chinese pilots are practicing take off and landing at a simulated aircraft carrier deck in the central city of Wuhan.

Once operational China would join the select few countries with aircraft carriers, and signal China's ambition to project its military power way beyond its borders.

The BBC's Beijing Correspondent Damian Grammaticas managed to get a look at the carrier.

First broadcast on June 8 2012