Chinese Carrier Skirting Taiwan

Taiwan warns of increasing threat as Chinese warships conduct drill

Taiwan warned on Tuesday that “the threat of our enemies is growing day by day”, as Chinese warships led by the country’s sole aircraft carrier sailed towards the island province of Hainan through the South China Sea on a routine drill.

China has given few details of what the Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier is up to, save that it is on a routine exercise. Taiwan has said the aircraft carrier skirted waters outside of its eastern air defence identification zone.

The carrier is expected to arrive at a Chinese military base on the southern Chinese island of Hainan late on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

The Liaoning was laid down by Russia as a Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier then sold–supposedly for use as a floating hotel and casino–to China. The carrier has been in commission in the Chinese navy since 2012. It was recently declared “combat ready.”

Its main combat aircraft are 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters operating from a ski-jump flight deck. The Liaoning is to serve as a training and development ship while the Chinese figure out how to build and operate carriers.


  1. I am interested in the the whole ski jump carrier idea. I always thought it was for Sea Harriers, but the SU-33 and its copy, the J-15, are conventional aircraft that use ski jumps, not cats.

    As for China and carriers, I think it is a waste of resources. Since the US has 10 super carriers, the Chinese are not realistically ever going to challenge that number in any arms race. Additionally, they must realize that each carrier must come with a lot of other ships and subs to form a carrier group to protect the carrier. So trying to build a carrier fleet to match us, is not going to happen.

    If I were the Chinese, I’d put my money into more and more advanced anti-shipping missiles to sink US carriers that venture too close. I’d make sure there were 500 missiles for US carrier. There is no way a US carrier could defend itself from that type of onslaught.

    And given any potential confrontation between us is going to happen close to China, they don’t need carriers.

  2. Yeah China can’t hope to catch up in the carrier race. But carriers, even a few, are very valuable for “power projection” and overseas interests. Carriers make some sense for China in that sense.

    But they won’t be able to build a surface fleet to defeat the USN toe-to-toe, at least not without a long, long period of heavy spending and hard training. So the missile idea is obviously the way to keep us from getting too close.

    And subs.

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