Liaoning aircraft carrier

Liaoning aircraft carrier

China's first aircraft carrier went into commission on September 26, 2012 and was named "Liaoning" after the northeastern province. The 300-metre ship, refurbished and upgraded from the unfinished Soviet carrier Varyag, which China bought from Ukraine in 1998, is believed to be years away from active service. 

Foster private defence firms, urges China's carrier buyer Xu Zengping

Xu Zengping says private firms would deliver better and cheaper weapons than state-run firms. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The man who bought China's first aircraft carrier says the nation should nurture its own Lockheed Martins, amid President Xi Jinping's push for more military-civilian partnerships in the defence sector.

Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 2:32am

'Unlucky guy' tasked with buying China's aircraft carrier: Xu Zengping

Illustration: Henry Wong

Xu Zengping opens up about the clandestine operation to buy the Liaoning and unfinished business.

30 Apr 2015 - 2:32pm

PLA brass ‘defied Beijing’ over plan to buy China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning

An undated picture shows Xu Zengping (right) and former deputy commander of the PLA Navy Su Shiliang boarding on the deck of Liaoning. Photo: SCMP Pictures

For nearly two decades it was one of China's best-kept secrets but now Hong Kong-based businessman Xu Zengping is breaking his silence and unmasking the PLA masterminds behind the purchase of what became the country's first aircraft carrier.

1 May 2015 - 8:15am 5 comments

INTERACTIVE: Slow boat to China — the long, troubled journey of the Varyag from the Black Sea to Dalian

INTERACTIVE: Slow boat to China — the long, troubled journey of the Varyag from the Black Sea to Dalian

In this interactive, Joe Lo illustrates the path that the former Soviet aircraft carrier, the Varyag, took to get from Ukraine's Black Sea Shipyard to Dalian in China's Liaoning province, taking more than two years to complete.

20 Jan 2015 - 8:33am 5 comments

Legal dispute saps finances of man behind China's first aircraft carrier

Xu Zengping, buyer of China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

One dispute has dogged Xu Zengping for two decades and, says Xu, indirectly affected his efforts to raise money for the carrier deal.

It involves a legal tussle with the Guizhou provincial government over the ownership of the Guizhou Park Hotel, a four-star development in the provincial capital of Guiyang .

20 Jan 2015 - 2:00am 2 comments

Mission impossible II: the battle to get China's aircraft carrier home

Xu Zengping bought China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Hong Kong-based businessman Xu Zengping pulled off the unlikeliest of military coups in 1998 - he convinced a Ukrainian shipyard to sell him an unfinished Soviet aircraft carrier for US$20 million.

20 Jan 2015 - 5:46pm 14 comments

The inside story of the Liaoning: how Xu Zengping sealed deal for China's first aircraft carrier

Click to enlarge for facts and figures on the Liaoning. Illustration: Henry Wong

Xu Zengping knew the moment that he saw the hulk of a half-built Soviet aircraft carrier anchored in a cash-strapped Black Sea shipyard that he had to buy it for China.

19 Jan 2015 - 9:38am 4 comments

The Xu family: From basketball to the aircraft carrier business

Xu Zengping, wife Liu Kexian, sons Adam (left) and Oliver

Love of basketball runs deep in the Xu family. At the peak of his playing career in the late 70s, Xu Zengping was the captain of the PLA Guangzhou Military Command team.

19 Jan 2015 - 7:24am 1 comment

Mission impossible: How one man bought China its first aircraft carrier

Mission impossible: How one man bought China its first aircraft carrier

It was a mission like no other. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse, one businessman scooped the world to buy the unfinished hulk of a Ukrainian aircraft carrier that would become the centrepiece of the PLA Navy.

19 Jan 2015 - 8:57am 26 comments

China gives rare glimpse into first aircraft carrier Liaoning’s home port in Shandong

China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning anchors at its home port in Qingdao, Shandong. Photo: Xinhua

China’s military has disclosed little-known details of its first aircraft carrier base in Shandong province, acknowledging the existence of nuclear weapon facilities at the naval base.

5 Dec 2014 - 12:43pm

Chuck Hagel's visit to Liaoning carrier spurs media talk on PLA transparency

US defence chief Chuck Hagel is greeted by military personnel as he arrives at Qingdao airport before his inspection of China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Photo: AP

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel's invitation to board the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, sparked discussions on whether China should open its military facilities to the general public.

13 Apr 2014 - 3:57am

Chuck Hagel kicks off China visit with rare glimpse of Liaoning aircraft carrier

US defence chief Chuck Hagel is greeted by military personnel as he arrives at Qingdao airport before his inspection of China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Photo: AP

US defence chief Chuck Hagel was given a rare tour of China's first aircraft carrier as he kicked off a three-day visit yesterday, becoming the first foreign official to go on board the Liaoning after arriving in the port city of Qingdao.

8 Apr 2014 - 10:11am 13 comments

Xi Jinping told Liaoning's captain to get aircraft carrier ship-shape soon

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the country's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, docked at Dalian in Liaoning Province, on August 30, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

A Communist Party magazine has revealed concerns expressed by President Xi Jinping during his inspection of China's first aircraft carrier in August.

5 Feb 2014 - 4:05am 3 comments

China needs three aircraft carriers, writes naval researcher

China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning

China should have at least three aircraft carriers to defend its national interests at sea, a mainland naval expert said, adding that criticism overseas of an expansion of the fleet was an overreaction.

21 Jan 2014 - 4:51am 1 comment

Building trust as PLA Navy expands its role

Liaoning aircraft carrier

The People's Liberation Army Navy was little noticed internationally before it joined the coalition protecting sea lanes in the Gulf of Aden from Somali pirates in 2008. China's naval modernisation has since been of particular interest, especially after the commissioning of the Liaoning aircraft carrier in 2012, disputes over islands in the East and South China seas and a resurgent US presence in the region. Chinese ambitions for a blue-water fleet have been eyed suspiciously by neighbours and rivals. Increased participation in global peace and security operations will go a considerable way towards countering negative perceptions.

15 Jan 2014 - 3:57am 1 comment

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