onsdag 29. september 2021

China’s new aircraft carrier underlines need for the Aukus pact

In the dockyards of Shanghai, the next step in China’s naval expansion is taking shape: a 315-metre aircraft carrier, whose construction progress was revealed by satellite photography in May this year. China has the world’s largest navy and the largest shipbuilding industry, but the Type 003 is the latest step up: a vessel the same size as the latest US Ford class with a matching electromagnetic catapult for launching jets.

It forms part of Beijing’s attempts to push back the US navy in the western Pacific, beyond the first island chain that runs south of Japan, between Taiwan and the Philippines to the South China Sea – the reason why Washington wants to draw far-flung Australia and the UK into the region and the Aukus defence pact.