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How Will China Use Her New Aircraft Carrier?

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According to Chinese sources, China is building a new aircraft carrier which will be a marvel of war technology. This is not the first time that Chinese military hardware innovation has surprised military analysts with its formidable technical excellence. Notwithstanding that, the new marine war machine is much more significant, and scary, than any previous Chinese achievement except production of the nuclear bomb. As this carrier’s technical capability and political implications of its deployment are interrelated, I would like to briefly review them both.

The catamaran-like twin hulls of this vessel make it more stable and faster than any monohull carrier. Its twin flight decks have more space for takeoff and landing, and allow stationing more aircraft than its counterparts in any country. It can carry nuclear submarines between its hulls. The list of its superior technical features is virtually endless. The envy of engineers and military specialists alike, the new carrier moves China into the ranks of technical superpowers, and narrows the gap with the United States.

The political significance of these carriers is enormous. China plans to deploy six of them around the globe, including one in the Mediterranean. The Chinese Communist government insists that its military buildup is for defence purposes only, which sounds rather preposterous, as the primary mission of such a carrier is not defence, but assault.

Until now, the Chinese war machine has been inferior to that of the US. China has lacked the US’ advanced technology, and Chinese strategic concepts were not on a par with America for the same reason. For example, China has not had fully computerised battle management, which relies heavily on information obtained from satellites and other realtime acquisition sources. The Chinese are quickly closing the gap, however. China has already declared that by 2020 it will have complete global satellite coverage with 35 satellites, meeting all its civil and military needs and challenging the American GPS system.

The world doesn’t know the real intentions of Communist China; we can only guess. To feed its rapid economical progress, China needs natural resources from all over the globe. Its enormous population and improvement of living standard create problems more rapidly than the government can solve them. Its military progress, and particularly strategic hardware of the offence, are the reflection of China’s global interest and aggressive long term strategy.

China will soon have the capacity to intimidate all nations, including the US. It already has more hardware than any single state. It has an unlimited supply of educated, trained soldiers. With very short notice its army can mobilise more personnel than all of NATO combined.

Whatever happens in the future will likely shock the world. Empires come and go. Will China be the next one?

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About Alex Markman

Alex Markman is the author of fiction books, main subject of which is adventure, romance and integrity of human mind and soul. His drive to discover new places has brought him to such locales as the vast, unspoiled wilderness of Russian Ural and Siberia to the refined urban areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. His adventures, his often dangerous life, and familiarity with people from different cultures have given him abundant material for his highly entertaining stories. Fiction by Alex Markman: Contra-ODESSA, Novel Payback for Revenge, Novel Messenger of Death, Novel Dark Days of Love, Collection of novellas Non-Fiction: Putin, the Russian Elite, and the Future of Russia
  • john

    china was never gone. his statement that “china be the next one” is false. China was the hegemon for thousands of years. It is the oldest civilization in the world to exist to this day. China is not the next empire, it is the rebirth of the oldest empire to exist.

  • Igor

    It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve got.

    Let us know when they’ve got this boat deployed.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alex –

    Relax. The single most important function of the PLA is to keep the masses under control – just look up the news concerning the Uighurs in Xinjaing province and you’ll see what I mean.

    Furthermore, having an aircraft carrier doesn’t give one the ability to project power, because there’s a whole logistical train of support that goes into keeping a carrier available to deploy. As of the mid-90’s it was already costing $1B/year to keep each of our carriers operational. Furthermore, we’ve got generations of experience when it comes to what it takes to design carrier-capable aircraft, because ‘regular’ aircraft are simply not sturdy enough to take the beating of repeated landings on carriers.

    But let’s say that China overcomes all these obstacles – and she might. Any aircraft carrier is a huge, beautiful, and extremely noisy (i.e. easy) target for submarines…and ours are the best in the world. In order to keep a carrier effectively operational, said carrier must have first-class anti-submarine escorts to protect her 24/7. And that’s not even addressing the vulnerability to surface-to-surface missiles (which are the greatest threat from China to our own carrier fleet).

    To be sure, I think our carrier fleet (the single biggest perpetual chunk of our defense budget (other than personnel)) should be mothballed – they might be the most difficult ships to sink ever constructed, but it doesn’t take much to put one out of action for weeks. Arsenal ships would have been the way to go.

    Lastly – and most importantly – China might be belligerent locally, but they will not militarily confront America. Why? Because the moment they do, they lose the two single biggest customers that keep the Chinese economy going – USA and the EEC. Besides, there’s an old saying that goes something like, if you owe the bank a thousand dollars, they own you…but if you owe the bank a billion dollars, you own the bank.

    When it comes to China’s military, we have nothing to worry about.

  • some one

    One look at the photo would tell you that a fan boy designed that carrier.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    “How will China use her new aircraft carrier?”

    My prediction is that she will put a bunch of sailors and planes on it and sail it around the ocean.

    Seriously though, @ Glenn, if Chinese military power is nothing for the US and Europe to worry about then one does have to wonder why she would need an aircraft carrier, or indeed any kind of warship, in the Mediterranean. Such a move could only be seen as provocative.

  • Igor

    @4-some: yeah, the design doesn’t make any sense from the drawing or the description. Maybe it’s just a fake to scare Chinas neighbors over the oceanic neighborhood.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    The answers are easy: pride, prestige, appearances…sorta like the insecure guy who buys a big red 4×4 truck with dualies. Some might even call it compensation. They also know that despite all the vulnerabilities of an operational carrier (which are legion), there’s nothing quite like the diplomatic boost one gets when your carrier group makes a port visit and all the people in that port get to see 4.5 acres of your sovereign territory anchored several hundred meters from their beach. The locals tend to treat you really nicely, and it’s not just because of the money you’re spending in their city.

    That, and an operational carrier group would be a definite asset against, say, India…since India’s building their own. Reading the reference, I must admit it’s troubling yet amusing that the Indian carrier will have Russian fighters and English helos, and will be powered by General Electric gas turbines.

    One more thing – while I may belittle the capabilities of a Chinese aircraft carrier, I don’t laugh at all at their efforts in space, in computers, or in other high-end military technologies…they’re building a stealth fighter now.

    But the Chinese are too smart to attempt a war against the West – at least until they feel they’ve developed a true game-changer, one that would enable a swift victory while protecting their economy.

  • Clav

    The idea of a catamaran carrier is not all that far-fetched. Cats offer a number of advantages over monohulls, including much greater stability (a huge advantage if you’re launching/landing aircraft), much greater speed at much lower fuel and other operating costs, due to considerably reduced wetted surface, resulting in significantly lower friction with the water, and for any given length, a much greater beam, offering far more room to accommodate whatever you need.

    Though, to my knowledge, there are no carrier-size cats yet, the design is proven and in use all over the world, and Daewoo Shipbuilding of Korea is constructing a pipe-laying catamaran which will be in the size range of an aircraft carrier. Named the Pieter Schelte, the ship is 1253 feet (382m) in length, and 384 feet (117m) at the beam. The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), by comparison, measures 1092 feet (332.85 meters)in length, with a beam of 134 feet (40.84 meters).

  • Deano

    I’m still waiting for an Avengers-style SHIELD heli-carrier…

  • Deano

    ….and giant GUNDAM fighting robots.

  • askar

    don’t be silly john the time for western superemacy is over. china is an emerging economic and military power a fact even your bosses can’t deny.

    be realistic and face the chinese music soon.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    askar –

    Don’t be so quick to declare victory for the Chinese, for their economy is almost wholly dependent upon their exports to the EEC and to America. If the economies of the EEC and America tank, what happens to China?

    So no, I’m not at all worried about Chinese supremacy, for the economic world is too interdependent for them to be able to exert their will over the EEC and the U.S.

  • urabus

    Does China ever question US how US will use its Aircraft carriers? So, what a fuck that all these pro US keeps asking China`s intention? China is an very old civilization
    and China has not done even 1% of what US has done to the world problems! Western powers had been bullying China and now it is the same. China`s intention is always defensive like building a great wall to fence off the Mongolian Nomad from the north. You must understand that China adopted defensive stance because China emperors believed China needed to obtain mandate from heaven to rule. Imagine the huge resources China had put into building the wall were put into forming a massive army
    and took the fight to those Mongolian nomads China would had decimated them like insects! Just look at the recent history what US, western powers and the Japan done to China? If China intention is purely for revenge there is nothing anyone can do a thing. This is nature and the heaven above decides who to live and who to perish. China has always says peaceful rise and has so far done nothing wrong to anybody except helping the world. So careful what you wish for.

  • Igor

    It’s all a controversy based on a picture of doubtful provenance. Chasing phantoms.

  • Subaru

    @urachus wtf are you whining about again? China is a very old civilization, that should be much further along, yes? China has started to bully the region already with false claims of ownership. The reason why they continue to advance in technology is because the West is stupid enough allow them to steal our information, and the West is stupid enough to offshore their industrial production to China…and then cry later when the Chinese reverse engineers and copies it. GE will find out soon enough…

  • http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/how-will-china-use-her-new/ Jon Doe

    TO Glen Contrarian,

    your comments on “if you owe the bank a million dollars they own you, and if you owe the bank a billion dollars you own them”, is rubbish !
    The Ottaman Empire borrowed money from China and look where they ended up !

    America has screwed every economy due to the transnational conglomerates within its borders and now that China is re-calling America’s debt for casuing imbalances in the relationships that have been forged between the Arabs and the Chinese, America is going to HAVE TO take a back seat for its abuse and poor managemeent world wide. China is the only country that has NEVER invaded outside of its own borders; and yet America’s government continues to invade without any solid, logical, nor rational reason. Hence you sir appear to be somewhat to happy-go-lucky in your response. China is very unpredictable which makes them such a great survivor – that is why they are the oldest and most prominent EMPIRE on the planet – far greater than the mesopotamians, the egyptians, and the Ottomans. Overall, America has not taken heed of one lesson by the Chinese, and so the tables are now turning of which China WILL correct the disasters America has since created during its time of power. America is nothing more than an abusive government (a political, and military bully), and now they are going to be held accountable economically for the political and disastrous business dealings that have left millions homeless, jobless, and destitute. China while far from perfect have a value system that works – a collective ideology with 10,000 years of experience and functioning whereas America has approximately 200 years of nothing but blood shed, heartache, and meddling in everyone elses international affairs. The world should be glad that China is going to take over and America will become just a drop in the pages of global history in ruining civilizations to be corrected by an Ancient civilization that will restore law and order without a single drop of blood shed, or a bomb, or by invasion – economic warfare is how, and what they are doing – very much from the pages of their own literature, ‘Tsun Tsu’. i am glad that someone is finally going to stand up to America and force them to stop telling everyone else what to do. enough is enough. these aircraft carriers are the symbol of a collective might that if attacked i think the fallout for the agressor could and would result in decent innocent people suffering. these aircraft carrier designs by the Chinese are in no way to be laughed at; China has a track record of never losing a war – just look at what happened the last time China was in conflict – look what happened to the aother side.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    China is the only country that has NEVER invaded outside of its own borders

    Seriously? China has invaded Vietnam alone at least 25 times. She has also, either as principal aggressor or ally, invaded Korea (several times), Japan (many times), Manchuria, Tibet (several times), Nepal, Mongolia, India…

  • Clav

    I see we once again are being targeted by Chinese government hired hacks…

    About as subtle as a runaway freight train.

    Fasten your seat belts, folks.

  • John

    Dr Dread, hmm why don’t we get the facts right?
    Ancient China invaded and conquered Vietnam 4 times all between 200AD to 1450AD. The PR China fought a war with South Vietnam over disputed islands. Later China invaded Vietnam after Vietnam conquered China’s ally Cambodia but the Chinese retreated after almost reaching the Vietnamese capital. Then Vietnam and China fought a series of small scale and minor skirmishes at their border. During the Vietnam war, china fought on North Vietnam’s side so this is not an invasion.

    China also entered the Korean War on North Korea’s side to push the Americans out of the North so this isn’t an invasion either. But ancient China had invaded ancient Korea a lot of times in contest with Japan.

    China never invaded Mongolia, it was in fact conquered by Mongolia and the Mongolian rulers invaded Japan once but failed. So basically china invaded Japan only once. Btw the Mongolians did not turn china into Mongolia but in fact the Mongolians assimilated and kinda became Chinese. 

     when Manchuria invaded china they became Chinese as well. I’m not sure about china invading Manchuria but i don’t think they did. 

    Tibet has been a part of chinese territory since the 1200s till the present day, however Tibet was independent for around 250 years in total during those time. 

    China never invaded Nepal but Nepal invaded Tibet in the 1790s once and during that time Tibet was already a part of china, so basically Nepal invaded China once.

    China and India are among the oldest civilizations in the world and these two have co-existed in peace for a very very very long times.  The PR china and India fought three wars due to border disputes and that’s all. 

    And remember every nation was built by conquering neighbouring territories( a few times through unification but mainly war.). So it’s impossible not to invade anyone(I’m talking about countries since they first started not a transfer of power for example from this government to the next)

    I’m not saying that china has never invaded anyone, I’m saying that you should get your facts and numbers right and not make up stuff.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “John”

    Dude, I really feel sorry for you, for you’re trying so hard to please those who are watching your every word. While I have great respect for China, I also know many of her shortcomings. China has so much potential, but any nation that must use an overwhelmingly large army not for offense or defense against foreign nations, but to pacify its own people (see Xizang province (Tibet) and Xinjiang provine (the Uighurs))…

    …such a nation has some real problems. China has great potential and will probably overtake America’s economy (and perhaps our technology, too) in a couple decades or less…but the problem is, your whole economy rests on exports, and if the EEC and America decide to stop importing your goods, your economy will be badly hurt.

    I know you can’t allow yourself to publicly agree with any of this…but no one but yourself can hear your thoughts…and you know I’m right.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I’m not saying that china has never invaded anyone

    Sorry, John, but that is exactly what you said.

  • John

    Dr Dreadful, have you actually read the first couple of paragraphs??? I clearly stated the Chinese invasions of Vietnam both before the 1949 and after 1949, and the Chinese invasions of Korea.

    Glenn Contrarian, I think your going a bit off topic, I was arguing with Dr Dreadful about the number of times china has invaded foreign countries both ancient and modern, and then you suddenly started talking about economics and others???
    But I do agree with the most of the things you said, eg China’s economy is dependent on the West. I also agree that China isn’t very good at keeping all of its 1.3 billion people happy and this had been China’s problem for probably 5000 years due to its large population. Trust me, I can list both good and bad sides of china more than you can because, like you guessed before, I am Chinese and lived in china but now lives in Australia.

    One more thing, I was not trying to please anyone I was only pointing out the wrong numbers Dr Dreadful had stated.
    All good now?

    Sincerely,
    John

  • John

    Btw I’m not the “john” from the first post, I just used the name ‘John’ cuz I didn’t want to use my real name and just felt like it.

  • Igor

    China is going to have so much domestic trouble holding their patchwork nation together that they’ll have little energy for foreign adventures.

  • observant

    It’s doubtful that China intends to develop a US style carrier force….smells more like a clever ruse aimed at US policymakers.

  • Kevin

    The future is uncertain for all countries.
    We got enough tension at the moment.
    Countries got their hands around each others throat believe or not.
    It only matters which one releases and which one squeezes.

  • Marlowe Camello

    The single hulled U.S. air craft carriers looks so fragile that they can easily tilt to the side and sink in rough weather or a tsunami.

    I think the U.S. should build the twin-hulled aircraft carriers for better stability and endurance during any type of rough and tumble ocean conditions.

  • Igor

    Yeah, I’m tired of reading everyday about fragile US aircraft carriers capsizing in rough seas.

  • pulkit

    it’s will america be the next

  • pulkit

    I MEAN TO SAY THAT IT’S TIME UP FOR US

  • Igor

    The End is near!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    [reads the sheer ignorance and idiocy of some on this page and smacks forehead with palm]

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