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China’s navy commissioned its biggest and most advanced surface warship yet, the Nanchang guided-missile destroyer, on Sunday morning in the port city of Qingdao, state media reported.

Observers say the commissioning of China’s first 10,000-ton-class Type 055 destroyer, which is expected to accompany aircraft carriers in battle groups, is a step forward as Beijing seeks to operate farther from its shores and punch farther into the western Pacific.

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