China’s ‘Global Times’ has described reports that the Liaoning aircraft carrier will be sold to Pakistan “in order to compete with India” as “groundless and complete falsehood”. ‘Global Times’ was contradicting earlier reports in Pakistan’s ‘The Nation’ that the Liaoning, currently being used for training carrier crews, would be sold to Pakistan for “a yet undetermined price in order to upgrade the PN’s capabilities.” It said the Chinese government had never disclosed any plan regarding such a deal. It pointed out that the Liaoning was China’s only aircraft carrier at present and a domestically built carrier was still undergoing sea trials. It was also pointed out that Pakistan lacked the budget to afford an aircraft carrier, besides its maritime strategy was one of onshore defence, making any carrier redundant.
January 28, 2022
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