WASHINGTON ― China has launched a pair of new destroyers on July 3 from their dry docks in Dalian, Liaoning province, which borders North Korea, according to Chinese media.

The vessels are designed for long-range air defense, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

The completed construction of the two destroyers, widely known as Type 055 vessels, contributes to the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s determined naval buildup.

The recently launched vessels are equipped with multifunction phased array radars similar to the U.S. Navy’s Aegis system and could accompany future carrier battle groups as China continues to expand its carrier program.

China’s ambitions for a blue-water navy are no secret. In November 2012, then-President Hu Jintao reported to the Chinese Communist Party Congress his desire to “enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resource ... and build China into a strong maritime power.”

Andrew is a student in the class of 2020 at the University of Notre Dame.

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