BEIJING As China builds a military to match its growing economic power, its neighbors and potential rivals including the United States have puzzled over a key question: When will the Chinese Navy launch an aircraft carrier?
For decades, senior Chinese military and political officials have argued that for the country to become a great power, the People’s Liberation Army Navy needs to add these potent warships to its fleet.
However, the major obstacle to this ambition is that aircraft carriers are hugely expensive.
The two 50,000-metric-ton conventionally powered carriers now under development for Britain’s Royal Navy are expected to cost a minimum of $2.5 billion each. To outfit them with aircraft could cost that much again.
And, aircraft carriers do not operate alone. They need a fleet of warships, submarines and supply vessels along with advanced electronic surveillance for support and protection.
For these reasons, most experts assumed a Chinese carrier was decades away.
But after double-digit increases in defense spending over much of the past 15 years, evidence is now emerging that China has a more ambitious timetable.
China;s got an aircraft carrier, in fact it’s coming up for sale if you want to buy it.
[quote]Minsk to auction next month
2006-02-16 Beijing Time
SHENZHEN will be auctioning the Minsk aircraft carrier next month. Minsk, a decommissioned Russian aircraft carrier, was also the previous flagship of the Russian Pacific Ocean Fleet. It was sold to a South Korean businessman in 1995, and later resold to Shenzhen Minsk World. [/quote]
Though I’m not sure it scared anyone but little kids.
[quote=“LittleBuddhaTW”]It will be quite a while until China has an aircraft carrier. Whether or not they’re even seriously working on developing one is still up for debate. The Chinese navy still has a loooong way to go before it could stand up to the US Navy … now the Taiwanese navy is another story …[/quote]
And just as long until they can match Japanese seapower. And I also look for India to become a more visible player in this alliance - US, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, ???.
It would be even more expensive considering that Japan and the United States collectively control most all world iron ore trade and steel production. A distinct advantage to globalization if one considers China a destabilizing force in the world.
In what world do you live in? Global steel production is around 1100 million tons per annum. U.S steel production last year accounted for around 120 million tons. 2004 Japanese steel production was close to 112 million tons. In 2005, China produced 350 million tons of steel.