Here is a Reuters Article.
And here are the highlights of the news conference with Defense Ministry. I wish to get a clip of the news conference and watch it over later, but here are the interesting points.
- Some anonymous source said 2 more aircraft carriers are being built at JN shipyard in Shanghai. (I'm not 100% on the number or the location, but it sounds quite plausible)
- Geng did not give an official sea trial date and said that it is not related to South China Sea drama.
- Geng said the task of training carrier-borne aircraft pilots is under the way. He also said that China is relying on its own effort to train naval pilots. (This is interesting, because I've read that the first Chinese pilots already got to Brazil.)
- Varyag is used for research, experiment and training. (I think it will have be eventually used for more than that, but we will see)
Here are some of the Varyag pictures taken in the past couple of days. Looking at the work on the deck, it looks like the refitting is close to being done.