A carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet takes off from the
Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier.
China has carried out its first successful landing of a
fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, state media said, a
symbolically significant development as Asian neighbours fret
about the world's most populous country's military ambitions.
The home-built J-15 fighter jet took off from and landed on
the Liaoning, a reconditioned Soviet-era vessel from Ukraine
which only came into service in September this year.
China ushered in a new generation of leaders this month at
the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, with outgoing
President Hu Jintao making a pointed reference to
strengthening China's naval forces, protecting maritime
interests and the need to "win local war".
China is embroiled in disputes with the Philippines and
Vietnam over South China Sea islands believed to be
surrounded by waters rich in natural gas. It has a similar
dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.
It has also warned the United States, with President Barack
Obama's "pivot" to Asia, not to get involved.
"We should make active planning for the use of military
forces in peacetime, expand and intensify military
preparedness, and enhance the capability to accomplish a wide
range of military tasks, the most important of which is to
win local war in an information age," Hu said.
China has advertised its long-term military ambitions with
shows of new hardware, including its first test flight of a
stealth fighter jet in early 2011, an elite helicopter unit
and the launch of the aircraft carrier.
China is boosting military spending by 11.2 percent this
year, bringing official outlays on the People's Liberation
Army to 670.3 billion yuan ($100 billion) for 2012, after a
12.7 percent increase last year and a near-unbroken string of
double-digit rises across two decades.
Beijing's public budget is widely thought by foreign experts
to undercount its real spending on military modernisation,
which has drawn repeated calls from the United States for
China to share more about its intentions.
China's state-run Xinhua news portal said the J-15 - which
can carry multi-type anti-ship, air-to-air, and air-to-ground
missiles - is comparable to the Russian Su-33 jet and the
U.S. F-18. It did not say when the landing on the carrier