|China's Type 001A while under-construction (File Photo)|
China is expected to commission its first domestic-build aircraft carrier on May 23, when Beijing celebrates Naval Forces Day.
The vessel known as the 001A will be the second aircraft carrier in service with the naval forces of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
In recent years, China's navy has transformed from a small fleet into a formidable force aimed at gaining dominance in the Pacific. In the 1990s, Beijing launched several projects to design and construct advanced submarines, destroyers, frigates and corvettes.
In 2012, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was commissioned. The ship was originally laid down as a Soviet multirole aircraft carrier under the name Riga and then Varyag. China bought it from Ukraine for $25 million and at the time it was already 60 percent completed.
Currently, Beijing is developing its own aircraft carrier program. By 2020, the Chinese naval forces are expected to receive several domestically-built aircraft carriers.