Today it was announced that China has launched its first aircraft carrier and that the Chinese government plans "to build at least two of its own aircraft carriers," in addition to this current one, which is a rebuilt Soviet-era carrier. This has many nations in the region worried, but also the United States. These worries however, are quite unfounded. One should worry more about growing US aggression as was seen in Iraq, is now being seen in Libya, and may potentially be seen in Syria.
Overall, this new aircraft carrier will pose no threat to the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region, which, on a global scale, is in the hands of the US due to its "five aircraft carrier strike groups, approximately 180 ships, 1,500 aircraft and 100,000 personnel" on the Pacific fleet, "two Marine Expeditionary Forces and about 85,000 personnel" in the Marine Corps Pacific forces, "approximately 40,000 airmen and more than 300 aircraft, with about 100 additional aircraft deployed to Guam" in the Air Force Pacific forces, and "more than 60,000 personnel assigned, including five Stryker brigades" in the US Army Pacific forces.
However, despite these facts, the US government still wants to know why China would need an aircraft carrier.
"We would welcome any kind of explanation that China would like to give for needing this kind of equipment," U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters today. "We have had concerns for some time and we've been quite open with them with regard to the lack of transparency from China regarding its power projection and its lack of access and denial of capabilities."In addition to the US State Department, others are also worried about China, stating that the US shouldn't cut defense spending as "China is building a military machine capable of extending its power far beyond the mainland" and that "China's carrier program indicates Beijing is eager to become a military player on a world stage." Others argue that the building of a Chinese aircraft carrier may mean that the Chinese government is planning to "intimidate weaker neighbors," however, China isn't truly a military threat as their leaders have "vehemently denounce[d] any suggestion that they are embarked on anything other than what they have referred to as a 'peaceful rise' and haven't engaged in major external hostilities since the 1979 war with Vietnam." They have been investing in their military over the past two decades to combat Western aggression such as spying and aggressive military maneuvers.
The Wall Street Journal sums up the situation aptly, when it states that the Chinese aircraft carrier's "launch is thus seen as a milestone in relations between an ascendant China, bent on reclaiming its historical role as a global superpower, and a debt-ridden U.S. that wants to retain the military supremacy it has wielded in Asia since 1945." The US is worried that the Chinese military may very well threaten its dominance of the Pacific region.
Expect the US media to use this as an excuse to demonize China and create more narratives that cast China as the enemy, even if all of it is nothing but delusional.
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