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China’s Second Aircraft Carrier

Written by on Thursday, April 25th, 2013

What’s scarier than a country that has a double digit economic growth since 1978, a GDP of $8.25 trillion in 2012, a defense budget of well over 10% and a single aircraft carrier? How about two aircraft carriers? Yes, it’s true, on Tuesday Song Xue, deputy chief of staff of China’s Navy announced that they are building China’s second aircraft carrier in Shanghai. This latest announcement, although mostly not a surprise, has put the rest of the world on alert that China’s military goals are lofty and fueled by a booming economy and fiscal coffers to draw upon, they are just getting started.

China currently has one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was purchased from Russia and was originally told to the press that it would be used as a floating casino but once it was acquired, it was converted into an operational aircraft carrier. By most other measures, China’s second aircraft carrier doesn’t mark a significant shift in the balance of power but when combined with its economic might and buildup of other military hardware, demonstrates a commitment to becoming a world online antibiotics leader in military strength. Recent hardware development includes stealth fighters, drone aircraft, bomber aircraft and nuclear submarines, all of which highlight a prolific rise of the over 3 million active and reserve personnel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

It’s expected that the Liaoning will be fully operational in two years but carrier landings have already been accomplished and it’s just a matter of time before the carrier is underway. China’s second aircraft carrier will take some time to build and test and it is expected to be larger, more modern and equipped with the latest technology. “We hope the next aircraft carrier can be bigger, because then it would be able to carry more aircraft and be more powerful,” said Song Xue when addressing foreign military attaches in Beijing.

China’s second aircraft carrier marks a significant effort by the Chinese to invest in defense. By contrast, as the rest of the world scrambles to produce meager defense budgets brought on by years of recession, the Chinese are investing in means to catapult themselves as a legitimate military superpower in the world.

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