PLAN (Peoples Liberation Army Navy) first aircraft carrier was reported by Reuters to be heading out for sea trials last Wednesday, in her wake the Dalian naval shipyard in Northeast China, shrouded in a thick fog which conveniently served to obscure the Shi Lang from eyes keen to make out the superstructure and gauge something of military capabilities kept well under wraps by the authorities. The official news agency, Xinhua, averred: “Building a strong navy that is commensurate with China's rising status is a necessary step and an inevitable choice for the country to safeguard its increasingly globalised national interests." Words that sent ripples of anxiety spreading throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Shi Lang (ex Varyag) off Istanbul Photo: U.S. Federal Government
Aircraft Carrier Shi Lang
Not a newbuilding, but the the former Soviet Union’s Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier Varyag, never previously operational according to reports, and subsequently gutted ... [More]