China is growing stronger. On Wednesday, it launched its first aircraft carrier that it built on its own. China now has two aircraft carriers. The first one was built by Russia. Its new carrier weighs 50,000 tons. It was launched at a ceremony in the shipyard. Navy officials followed tradition and broke a bottle of champagne on the carrier's bow. Development of the new carrier started in 2013. The shipyard started building it in 2015. The Chinese Navy will test the new carrier at sea for three years. It will start operating in 2020. All of the airplanes it needs will be ready then.
A spokesperson said he was, "proud of the great achievement made by the country in modernizing the national defense and military". He said the new carrier would strengthen China's ability to protect itself. It will also help China to look after its borders, shipping and trade routes. A social media user said the new carrier was, "a symbol of China's technological power, industrial capability and overall strength". There are reports that China will build at least two and maybe four more carriers. The new ones could be as big as the U.S. Navy carriers. They could weigh up to 100,000 tons.