China's first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launching ceremony in Dalian, China April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
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China needs to raise its military capabilities to protect its growing overseas interests, its foreign minister said following the launch of China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, while vowing not to pursue expansionism.China launched the carrier Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and regional worries about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea and its broader military modernization program.China also does not give a spending breakdown for its defense budget.But the government has said the new carrier's design draws on experiences from its first carrier, the Liaoning, bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.State media has quoted experts as saying China needs at least six carriers, and a corresponding number of overseas bases to support them.That will leave China well short of being able to challenge the United States which operates 10 carriers and plans to build two more, and has decades of experience operating them.
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