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During the handover ceremony the aircraft carrier raised the Chinese national flag on its mast, the PLA flag on its bow and the navy’s colours on its stern, the short online report said. A ceremony to place the ship into active service would be held sometime in the future, the paper said without elaboration. The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions over maritime disputes in the Asia-Pacific region, where China’s growing assertiveness has put it on a collision course with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
China also on Sunday postponed a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with Japan, due to a noisy territorial dispute with Tokyo over the Diaoyu Islands, known in Japanese as Senkaku. Tensions have also risen this year with Vietnam and the Philippines over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
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