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China to show off new warships next week
The Chinese Navy will host a massive maritime parade Tuesday where the Chinese armed forces will show off new destroyers, aircraft carriers, and nuclear submarines for the first time.
The Japan Times reported that Chinese officials made the announcement at a news conference Saturday, stating that the parade will involve a total of 32 naval vessels and 39 aircraft.
"The PLA Navy ship and aircraft to be revealed are the Liaoning aircraft carrier, new types of nuclear submarines, new types of destroyers, as well as fighter aircraft," Vice Admiral Qiu Yanpeng said, according to the Times.
"Some vessels will make their public debut," he reportedly added.
During the news conference, Qiu reportedly reiterated China's position that its growing naval force in the Pacific does not pose a threat to China's neighbors, asserting that China's government will not "pursue hegemony."
"A strong navy is essential for building a strong maritime country," Qiu added, according to the Times.
One of the vessels reportedly being unveiled Tuesday is the country's first-ever 10,000 ton-class destroyer, the Type 055, according to the Times.
The U.S. Navy and China's naval forces have come into close proximity in recent months as the Pentagon has continued to order Navy and Coast Guard ships through the Taiwan Strait, a show of support for the U.S.-aligned government of Taiwan.