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State media has released footage of the 50,000 tonne Shandong firing its weapons during a military exercise last month.

The Chinese Central Television video showed the take-off and landing of aircraft and live firing by the Shandong. Helicopters believed to be conducting search-and-rescue exercises are also featured.

A file photo of the Chinese military’s Shandong aircraft carrier. (AP)

He said the naval drills in the video showed the aircraft carrier had mastered the basic navigation skills but needed more practice to hone its combat capability.

“This shows that the quality of the training is pretty good.”

The warship is named after the eastern coastal province of Shandong and has propelled China in a small group of countries with multiple aircraft carriers.

The Chinese navy’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is a re-fitted Soviet-era Ukrainian and entered service in September, 2012.

The Shandong aircraft carrier was commissioned in December 2019. (AP)

Beijing has ordered the construction of a third aircraft carrier, fitted with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, reports say.

Meanwhile, Chinese military chiefs have held crisis talks with their US counterparts after reports the US was planning drone strike in the South China Sea.

They came after media reports the US was studying a plan to attack Chinese islands and reefs in the region with an MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said US Defence Secretary Mark Esper had told Beijing that Washington did not seek a military confrontation.

A file photo of US Defence Secretary Mark Esper. Chinese and American military chiefs have held talks amid media reports over a planned drone attack in the South China Sea. (AP)

Mr Wu said China would “resolutely counter-strike” if it was attacked.

The US Defence Department said the talks provided a forum to reduce the risk of military clashes.

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“The two sides agreed on the importance of establishing mechanisms for timely communication during a crisis, as well as the need to maintain regular communication channels to prevent crisis and conduct post-crisis assessment,” a spokesman said.

Source: 9News | World News

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