China Building More Aircraft Carriers

The latest leak regarding China’s aircraft carriers — though quickly deleted — only reveals an open secret.

Of Course China Is Building More Aircraft Carriers

By Shannon Tiezzi

A local government inadvertently confirmed that China is building a second aircraft carrier on Sunday, sparking a wave of media analysis of China’s maritime ambitions. According to Reutersthe government of Changzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, posted on its microblog that a Changzhou-based power cable manufacturer had been awarded a deal to supply products for China’s new carrier. The reports were also carried by a local newspaper before being scrubbed.

China currently operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, the pride of China’s navy (which last year was even the subject of musical paeans). Yet the Liaoning was not domestically produced – the carrier is a refitted version of Ukraine’s Varyag, as South China Morning Post described in great detail in a recent series. The goal all along has been for China to use the Liaoning as a training platform, a stepping stone to the production and use of Chinese-made aircraft carriers.

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