By Zhao Wei, Sina English
China's first aircraft carrier “Liaoning” left a port in Dalian, Liaoning Province, on Friday morning for its first sea trial after it entered into service September 25, a week before China’s National Holidy.
The carrier debuted out of the port of Dalian and headed to sea at 6 a.m. after it was commissioned as the Chinese 1st carrier with the hull number 16.
According to the Central Military Commission, after being commissioned to the PLA navy, the Liaoning will continue to serve for scientific research purposes, as well as military training.
By Yu Runze, Sina English
What as follows is the speculation by some Japanese media over China's just-commissioned aircraft carrier Liaoning with the hull mark of No.16:
China has acquired four retired aircraft carriers for study, the Australian HMAS Melbourne and the ex-Soviet carriers Minsk, Kiev and Varyag.
But why Varyag is chosen? Maybe the choice implies China’s ambitious aircraft carrier program.
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning was retrofitted from the 67,500 ton ex-Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag (Admiral Kuznetsov class).
If Liaoning is only designed for training and experiments, Minsk and Kiev could also do. The reason to choose Varyag is that Soviet Union had already taken nuclear-powered aircraft carrier into consideration and left room for follow-up development when they built the Varyag.
Therefore, it is totally reasonable to pick the 67,500 ton Varyag and it can be predicated that China has already put nuclear-powered aircraft carrier into prospective.
Besides, China has the capacity to use nuclear power as it holds leading position on nuclear-powered submarine.