Naval Air: October 30, 2002


China does not appear to be making a serious effort to develop a carrier aviation force. While some Chinese politicians and admirals favored a move in this direction, financial and geographic considerations doomed any such plans. China does not need a large sea going navy, for it is a continental power that should be more concerned with its land borders (especially those shared with Russia and India.) Moreover, China can buy more coastal defense with warplanes, submarines and missiles than with aircraft carriers. These three weapons appear to be Chinas favored strategy should it have to confront American naval forces off its coast. China also realizes that it has neither offensive naval power, nor the required shipping, to have a chance of successfully invading Taiwan. And if Taiwan should declare independence, and force China to make good on its promise to punish such an action, it could snipe at Taiwans vital sea borne trade and cause serious economic damage. Meanwhile, China is buying many of the missile systems Russia developed, during the Cold War, to attack American carrier task forces.


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