Satellite imagery shows China close to launching major new aircraft carrier

Country has been assembling huge new craft for four years.
The Beijing skyline

The People’s Republic of China is reportedly on the verge of completing and launching its latest aircraft carrier, a further sign of China’s aggressive push for dominance in both territory and global influence. 

Satellite images analyzed by the Associated Press show a nearly completed Type 003 carrier, China’s next-generation aircraft transport vessel. The country began construction of the craft in 2018. 

The ship will reportedly approach the size of the 100,000-ton U.S. supercarriers. Chinese officials have said it will use electromagnetic launching technology as opposed to older steam-based catapults. 

Chinese officials have not revealed any immediate plans to launch the ship, though the state-run Global Times this week reported that it “could be launched soon."