November 23, 2010
China completes upgrade of ex-Soviet aircraft carrier
Reportedly, China rapidly develops its naval power, but there's a lack of some key elements. However, the situation can be changed soon. China has not officially declared the building of aircraft carrier; nonetheless, it is expected that the ship would be put into operation in 2011, although not completed. This aircraft carrier is considered to be former Soviet Varyag.
At present, the ship stays at the port of Dalian undergoing a full-scale modernization. Hong Kong media sources reported last year that China planned to build five or more aircraft carriers, including two nuclear-powered ones.
Although China has already had significant nuclear potential, and second defense budget in the world (after the U.S.), demonstration of its military power is limited overseas. Aircraft carrier looks the most suitable tool for that purpose. Former US president Bill Clinton once said: "When word of crisis breaks out in Washington, it's no accident the first question that comes to everyone's lips is: where is the nearest carrier?"
Chinese official media agencies recently held a poll and found out that 98 per cent respondents say it is the best time to build aircraft carriers; 71 per cent pollees are convinced that China should have at least four carriers in inventory. Most of respondents consider power of Chinese Navy does not meet national needs.
Posted by NJS at 10:46 AM