“It’s a sign of openness, of sincerity, that China has nothing to hide and wants to improve military relations with the United States,” Ni Lexiong, a naval expert with the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, told Reuters.
“It will also be a good opportunity for the Americans to see the difference between the Liaoning and their aircraft carriers,” Lexiong added.
Hagel is the first foreign visitor to be onboard the new warship.
The U.S. regularly invites Chinese officials to tour their warships as a show of good faith military transparency.
"By showing him a vessel that was built in Ukraine in the 1980s and remains only a training platform that is still not fully operational, the Chinese will be keeping him away from their more sensitive capabilities, such as their missile programmes or submarine fleets," said Ian Storey, a Singapore-based regional security expert.
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