China says conducted 100 tests on aircraft carrier - The Times of India BEIJING: China announced on Monday that Liaoning, its new aircraft carrier, has carried out over 100 tests and training manoeuvres in the South China Sea since early December. This is the first time the carrier has carried out tests and complicated manoeuvres since being commissioned late last year. The announcement came soon after the Chinese and US navies exchanged sharp words over a near collision involving vessels from the two sides in the same sea earlier in the month. A Chinese ship sailing next to the carrier had come uncomfortably close to a US missile destroyer It is not clear if the near miss took place during China's testing of the carrier's combat capabilities. Observers suspect Chinese naval officers were putting the ships attached to the carrier through a stress test by allowing one of them to get close to the US vessel. The US navy had earlier blamed the Chinese navy for the miscalculation that resulted in the near-collision situation. "The Liaoning successfully performed several tests of the combat system today and organized for the first time comprehensive combat training," the People's Liberation Army navy said in a statement. "Through this operation, we tested the carrier's combat capability and tried the performance of its propulsion and seaworthiness." The mission is characterized by a large number of tests, rigorous standards, complicated circumstances as well as collaboration with multiple military units, it said. The carrier was joined by two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and Weifang, during the mission. "The South China Sea has deep waters, strong wind and big waves, making it a suitable place for the aircraft carrier to conduct tests and training," state media quoted Zhang Zheng, senior captain of the Liaoning, as saying. South China Sea has disputed islands, which are claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and China. The sea is closely patrolled by the US navy. Chinese military sources recently revealed the country was in the process of building a second aircraft carrier, which would rival US carriers in terms of capability by 2020.