This Image Can Only Mean One Thing: China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Almost Ready

Photos that began circulating in mid-April 2019 appear to depict shipyard workers in the port city of Dalian in northern China putting the finishing touches on the Chinese navy’s new Type 001A aircraft carrier.

The photos might confirm what many observers long have suspected. That Beijing wants the new carrier, China’s second, to be ready to sail in time for celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, scheduled for October 2019.

The photos of the Type 001A carrier seem to show rapid progress. Scaffolding has disappeared. Workers have applied high-friction deck coating. Four years after work began on the Type 001A and a year after the vessel completed her initial sea trials, the flattop appears nearly to be ready to leave port and potentially commission into service.

Type 001A’s commissioning could come just before the October 2019 national celebrations.

Once the new flattop is in service,

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