Reports say China's first aircraft carrier on way to permanent base at Qingdao in north

Chinese reports say the country's first aircraft carrier is headed for its permanent base in the northern port of Qingdao.

Speculation has swirled over where the ship christened the Liaoning would call home since it officially entered service on Sept. 25 amid a series of maritime disputes between China and its neighbors.

Qingdao is home to China's Northern Fleet responsible for operations in waters surrounding Japan, Russia, the Korean Peninsula, and the Bohai Gulf, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Beijing.

The Liaoning is a refurbished Soviet-era carrier purchased from Ukraine that China has described as an experimental model. China is believed to have plans to use its experience with the Liaoning to build four or more carriers of its own, basing some in the South China Sea.