China Builds Second Aircraft Carrier As Xi Flexes Maritime Muscle

Tyler Durden's picture

One topic we’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing is the rise of the PLA navy. 

2015 was the year Xi reasserted China’s maritime might - and not just in the South Pacific. 

By now, the entire world is well versed in the story of Beijing’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea. China has effectively created more than 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory in the Spratlys by piling sand atop reefs. The new “sand castles” - as the US calls them - are now home to an airstrip capable of landing military aircraft, ports, cement factories, a lighthouse, gardens, pigs, soldiers, and Xi only knows what else. 

Suffice to say Washington’s regional allies aren’t amused and the Spratly archipelago has been a major foreign policy stumbling block for The White House since at least April. 

But the PLA navy’s activities weren’t confined to dredging up sand in 2015. China also showed up unexpectedly at the besieged Yemeni port of Aden to evacuate civilians as the Houthis advanced on the city. That was a rare move for the Chinese. So rare in fact, that it took newswires hours to verify who exactly the soldiers were.

And there was of course the PLA’s trip by the Alaskan coast, just as Obama was visiting the state.

Now, China says it's building a second aircraft carrier. "China’s navy currently operates an aircraft carrier built from an imported Soviet-era hull, called the Liaoning, after the northeastern Chinese province where it is based," WSJ notes. "Analysts say the Liaoning serves mainly as a training ship."

(the Liaoning)

"The carrier is designed entirely by China, [and is] being constructed in Dalian," China's Ministry of Defense says. It will "use a conventional power plant" (as opposed to nuclear), and will "carry domestic J-15 aircraft." Early last month, China sent  J-11BH/BHS fighter jets to Woody Island, south of Hainan.

Earlier this year, a US military assestment of China's navy said Beijing "continues to pursue an indigenous aircraft carrier program and could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.

Needless to say, this is just one more sign that China is preparing to meaningfully expand its maritime capabilities on the way to building a true blue water navy. This of course also comes as tensions continue to rise in both the South China Sea (see the recent protest by dozens of Filipinos in the Spratlys) and the East China Sea (where Beijing and Tokyo are feuding over disputed islands and claims on oil and gas fields). 

Get the popcorn. 

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Below, find a complete recognition and identification guide for the PLA navy

ONI ChinaNavyRecognitionGuide

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blabam's picture

Wonder what the Japs will come up with. 

cossack55's picture

Not certain, but I am sure it will be nuke powered.

krispkritter's picture

Japs doing water and nukes together didn't work the first time around...

researchfix's picture

Maybe they have engines working with radiated Pacific water.

tarsubil's picture

China has wasted so much productive capacity these last couple decades. Building an aircraft carrier just adds to it. Who are they going to push around like the US? Will they ever even reach that capacity before all their debt implodes and demographics pulls everything down?

cossack55's picture

There is still that 80 year old debt outstanding that needs to be repaid to a certain island nation in the vicinity.

tarsubil's picture

Yeah, it really worked out well for the Chinese last time they tried invading Japan.

silverer's picture

The Chinese will be called in for aid in about two years, the way the Japanese economy is going.  The Japanese committed economic hari kari with their monetary policy, saving China any real worries.

Max Steel's picture

Nukes baby Nukes they were not present last time.

Element's picture

Yup, but there were massive fully stocked chemical and bio weapon arsenals in every major and many middle power's forces before, and during all of WWII.

And no matter how any one was bombed or invaded, or was losing millions, or was about to lose million more, and lose the war, no one used them. No one wanted to repeat that lesson.

The Americans got away with using nukes in WWII because they were geographically isolated from direct air attacks, more than any other major combatant.

But they don't have impunity to reply nuke attack today, so won't do it. And the other guy won't do it either, because, he may as well nuke himself if he ever did.

So don't assume nukes will be used as it's just as likely they won't be used, at all. If ever.

And we'll all suddenly end up, against all expectations, in a classic knock-down drag 'em out conventional true world-war again.

I'm pretty sure that's what the Pentagon have essentially concluded would occur.

Max Steel's picture

Those massively stocked chemical weapons are coming to an end after international ban.Nuclear nations make tactical nukes to be used in warfare unlike conventional MAD.Chinese doctrine allows them to use nukes if attacked first both tactical and even nuclear tipped carrier killer or anti-ship missiles.

Element's picture

Hey dude, having fun trying to distract from the point and weasel away from the implications?

Not one of Russia's or China's nukes will be used in the same way no one dared use the massive stocks of chemical and biological weapons they had in bombs, ready to go, during all of WWII.

Russia and China can talk wild-eyed rah-rah all they want about nukes, but they're holding a gun to their own head, and frankly, no one's buying your crap.

Happy new year.

Max Steel's picture

Happy New Year. Still few hours left back here.

Strayan f-16 fanboy even in terms of conventional weapons having 1200 aircraft carrier killer missiles at the cost of one aircraft carrier exceeds the so called advantage you think US or japan posses in conventional weapon war. Welcome to the world of assymetric warfare. They aren't going to fight us navy in high seas where US holds advantage, coming out of your hibernation and you haven't learnt anything.

Element's picture

You realize states and groups that use asymmetric warfare do it out of desperation, as a result of having no other real options? And where has asymmetry worked out thus far? Oh, right, nowhere. Damn. And in case you haven't noticed this isn't their first rodeo. The world takes on a whole different complexion if the west unilaterally decides to change the rules. Can't say I'm looking forward to it, as interesting, colorful and enlightening as that will be. 

IronForge's picture

What Debt, C_55?

War Reparations have been made; and even the Showa Emperor visited CHN, with many showing their approval after his speeches. 

Decades Ago.

CHN/JPN Trade continues to improve (more than JPN/USA in volume), even thought the TWNese made a "USA_MIC Approved" ruckus over an Island whose status was "still hanging and unresolved" at the time of CHN Premier's Visit to JPN and Normalization of relations.  The Ruckus was made shortly after JPN and CHN decided to Trade with each other's Currencies instead of the USD or TWNese intermediaries; and TWN and KOR soon pulled of similar deals with CHN thereafter.

Are you keeping up with this, C-55? 

silverer's picture

With all that productive capacity, they might as well keep busy building a military.  Can you think of any other country that spends billions it doesn't have building endless super expensive military weapons?

Urban Redneck's picture

One person's "wasted productive capacity" is another's "more efficient utilization of underperforming assets"...

How many thousands of tons of steel is just laying around in Chinese warehouses, and how much additional demand is needed to keep to operable iron and steel mills from defaulting?

The Chinese could buy themselves some time if they went on a carrier building binge right now...

aliki's picture

my only question is does DAL, JBLU, or UAL fly to the man-made, sandcastle where those 6 vixons in black & blue camos are? they can torture me all they want on my vacation week :)

seriously tho, i don't even know why this is a big deal. every country, especially the major superpowers, have a right to defend themselves. as an american, im all for NATIONAL DEFENSE ... what im not for is INTERNATIONAL OFFENSE which seems to be what we've been doing for far too long.

JustObserving's picture

What the world needs in the New Year is more conflicts, more tensions and ramped-up military spending.  The Nobel Prize Winner has never met a war that he declined.

Forward to more wars.

Sino-US Relations: 78% Chinese Believe West Intends to Contain China By Gu Di and Liu Xin Global Research, December 31, 2015
Silverhog's picture

If they build them as fast as they throw up skyscrapers, should have about 20 of them by May. Don't take them out in a rough sea though. 

silverer's picture

I wouldn't bet on the low quality part.  The US is not writing the specs and pocketing the difference.

wizteknet's picture

Sorry dude I hate animated annoying gifs, had to block your avatar...

Pliskin's picture

By turning off your computer and going and doing something less boring instead!


GhostOfDiogenes's picture
GhostOfDiogenes (not verified) Silverhog Dec 31, 2015 11:27 AM

" Don't take them out in a rough sea though. "

No worries. There are a billion where those others came from.

Jason T's picture

If it's Made In China .. I am not worried.


Made in Japan  .. I"d be worried.  

I do wonder what becomes of weaponry in this age of debasement.  

Pliskin's picture

Yep, Made in China = crap....that's why absolutely NO-ONE wants an I-Phone.


giggler321's picture

If you're giving them away, I'll take an I-Phone thanks and China makes crap because that's the market.  They can make to high specification but would those people of WalMat pay more than a dollar?

silverer's picture

China.  Let's see - they do all the world's consumer electronics employing state of the art production facilities, and are the lowest cost producer.  Not just electronics, either.  They can build a military for a fraction of the cost the US spends, because they don't have to pay off well-connected business tycoons that own the US congress.  Nothing to worry about here, eh?

Max Steel's picture

Taiwan makes it not mainland China though ;)

GhostOfDiogenes's picture
GhostOfDiogenes (not verified) Max Steel Dec 31, 2015 11:28 AM


China just puts it together.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture
GhostOfDiogenes (not verified) Pliskin Dec 31, 2015 11:26 AM

Apple doesnt make iphones out of cheap shit material or stupid mouthbreathers who vote.

Apple gets shit done son!

Thats why they are so costly.

If made in the US the labor would make it 15k or moar.

Fuck off with your bullshit apple hatred- ludditte hypocrite.

Pliskin's picture

Where did I say in my post that I hate 'Apple'??

Are you the ghost of Diogenes or the Ghost of Steve Jobs?

Go fuck yourself, mong!

Ms No's picture

Time for a small crash --> NIRP --> a false flag job --> a big crash--> bail-ins to support the great war effort and set social controls in place. 

All of America's wealth will be needed for the war machine and the soup kitchens for the old women and little kids that will remain behind with the predatory police while everywone else is sent to the big war.

If people do not resist this war and refuse to fight there will be nothing left of the US regardless if nukes are used or not. 



Pliskin's picture

Look at the above picture of the smoking hot Chinese babes (Soldiers-LOL) then take a look at the fat, butch-lesbo type bitches in the U.S. tell me who you want to win?

As a side ....Who or What was that man/woman/thing who had their picture taken with naked, tortured Iraqis?  What a fucking trog that thing was....Welcome to the U.S. bitches!!

Take your fucking big, fat, fucking, loud mouthed, idiotic, butch, manish STD-riddled whores and shove them up your HIV filled ass, Ash Carter.  Give me that sweet, sweet Asian patootie pie.


Consuelo's picture

Dragon ladies are tough, but they know how to treat a man with respect.

wizteknet's picture

That butch would kick that dragon ladies in a one on one combat sitituation... If your life depended upon it!

roddy6667's picture

Nobody fights hand to hand combat any more. You watch too many Kung Fu movies. Soldiers pull triggers or push the buttons to launch missiles.
Keep your dykes.

Max Steel's picture

whatever sails your boat ;)

Pliskin's picture

My life doesn't depend on it...I'm just choosey over who I fuck, I like silky skin (as oppose to hairy) flat stomachs (as oppose to flabby) and pert asses (as oppose to huge, dirty, brown caves)...but whatever floats your boat?!?!

Element's picture

Come off it, give them a crew cut and they'd look little different to the average dude.

Pliskin's picture

You've obviously never been with an Asian woman, hairy legs, stomach overhangs and fat, wrinkly asses aren't 'normal' you know??

Oh well, keep fucking those trogs.

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) Pliskin Dec 31, 2015 11:04 AM

You're not referring to the Abu Ghrab naked pyramids as torture, again .... water boarding is effective and uncomfortable .... but naked pyramids .... this taints all your comments ?

The Spanish Ambassador's picture

That $3-4 trillion wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan would of been better spent on the Pacific Fleet.

Consuelo's picture



Difficult to say...    This may all be a 'show', as the Chinese know full well - by way of Russian technology, that the era of aircraft carrier power-projection is - well, long past its sell date...    Missile technology is rendering these sea-going hulks more ridiculously vulnerable than ever before.   And that doesn't even factor in ¥¥¥¥/$$$$ economies-of-scale...    The only reason the U.S. keeps building them is because - well, look at the F-35 juxtaposed against Paul Ryan's $budget and draw your own (MIC) conclusions. 

Boomberg's picture

Carriers project power and threat even if they are sitting ducks. Is there any doubt Iran is pissed and devoting resources to monitoring US carriers in the Gulf? Yes Iran can take them out easily but the consequences would be severe. (and there should be no doubt that some in the US gov would just love to have a carrier hit by Iran and don't give a s**t about loss of life). 

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) Dec 31, 2015 10:44 AM

I do not understand those ramps .... on Soviet and Chinese aircraft carriers .... aside from the childish notion of a push up .... they have to be a momentary drag on airspeed .... when compared to a flat runway ?

tarabel's picture



US carriers use catapults to accelerate the aircraft over a short distance. Other nations use ski jumps to give the planes lift and need a longer takeoff run.

But it is interesting to see yet another nation take up the construction of what the Zhukov Hedge experts swear is a useless, obsolete warfighting platform.