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PLA Navy made important advances in 2013: reports

TAIPEI--More than two dozen Chinese warships were launched in 2013, a year of rapid development for the naval branch of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to Chinese and Hong Kong media reports.

The PLA Navy is considered to have been the military arm given top priority last year by the Chinese authorities as tensions have arisen amid disputes over maritime sovereignty, said huanqiu.com, a website owned by the official People's Daily.

The buildup has seen at least 27 warships launched or deployed in 2013, according to the South China Morning Post, an English-language daily based in Hong Kong.

The ships include two Type 052C destroyers, one Type 052D destroyer, six Type 054A frigates and 18 Type 056 corvettes, the Post said.

According to the Asian Wall Street Journal, two intercontinental ballistic missiles the Chinese test-fired last year — the land-based DF-41 and the submarine-launched JL-2 — could combine to help the Chinese achieve second-strike capability.

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