Aug. 15, 2011
-- China’s first aircraft carrier was bought from the Ukraine in 1998 for $20m in an auction. Her life started as a Soviet ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ class ‘aircraft carrying heavy cruiser’, with her keel laid down in 1985. She never became operational as the USSR collapsed, and by the time she was sold to a ‘front’ Chinese company, she had been stripped almost bare, and carried the name ‘Varyag’. Over the subsequent ten or so years, China has been fitted her out in the Dalian Shipyard in northern China – the purchase included a set of plans as well.
Early August 2011 sees her first open-sea trials, carrying the name ‘Shi-Lang’
Some observers doubted that China would finish the project, but those who can begin to understand the Chinese mentality know that they seek to surpass the United States economically, politically and militarily, and have actively been building their strengths in all these arenas.
The stance of the People’s Liberation Army Navy has been changed from a coastal defence force to that of a superpower with worldwide blue-water reach. Projection of power with a global reach requires air-power platforms. Carriers are very visible, and present a powerful picture of naval and airborne strength.
James Marinero ( http://www.jamesmarinero.com/
) reviews the new chinese aircraft carrier and the changes in Chinese policy - get the full story at http://www.jamesmarinero.com/Research-Articles/Shi-Lang-C...
. In his action-packed novel 'Gate of Tears' ( http://www.jamesmarinero.com/
Gate-of-Tears.html ) he projects the effects of these changes as China flexes her new-found muscles in global intelligence, the international gold and financial markets, and naval air power.
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