China's first aircraft carrier the Liaoning recently left a shipyard in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province to start a new training mission, with the political commissar of the carrier saying it is constantly prepared for war.
Li Dongyou, the political commissar of the Liaoning, told the Global Times that "As a military force, we are always prepared for war and our combat capacity also needs to be tested by war. At this moment, we are doing our best to promote our strength and use it to prevent war, and are prepared for actual combat at any time."
The Liaoning as the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Surface Force, has always been described as a surface platform for tests and training by the PLA's official media, but now it has formally been described as having a real combat capacity.
Three US senior officers and military commanders have visited the Liaoning in the past, the 24th Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the 30th and the 31st Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert and Admiral John M. Richardson
"As a combat platform, regarding technology and capability to execute missions, China still lags behind the US, but three high-ranking US officials who visited the Liaoning before all gave a positive evaluation on the management affairs on the carrier: officers and soldiers' daily lives and training are well organized and the equipment maintenance is fine" Li said.