Kina har bygget sitt første hangarskip, og planene følges med uro og oppmerksomhet av alle. Er det varsel om at Kina vil vise militære muskler regionalt og utfordre USA globalt?

USA er i en klasse for seg hva gjelder marinemakt, med elleve hangarskip. Hvert hangarskip har støttefartøyer rundt seg. Det gjør det mulig for USA å bruke militærmakt hvorsomhelst i verden.

Kina gjør krav på øyer som ligger langt fra fastlandet. Landet ligger i konflikt med både Japan og Vietnam. Senest i juni var det konflikt med et vietnamesisk fartøy ved Spratley-øyene.

Kina definerer sine eierinteresser over sjøområder så ekspansivt at de går helt ned til Indonesia og Malaysia.

Derfor vekker hangarskip-programmet bekymring.

China’s first aircraft carrier, named, according to reports, the Shi Yang after the Chinese Admiral who first conquered Taiwan, will sail soon on its first cruise. According to a Chinese Government spokesman, it will be used for «scientific research, experiment and training.»

Why does Beijing want seagoing Naval airpower ? Why does China want an aircraft carrier? China certainly does not need a carrier if its only goal is forcibly to occupy Taiwan.

It appears that, not surprisingly, the main reason Beijing wants a carrier is to project power in and around the South China Sea. China’s claims to the area are based on its assertion that number of islets and reefs are China’s own sovereign territory, and that, under international maritime law, the seas and sea beds around them belong to China. China’s claim to this Exclusive Economic Zone extends for more than a thousand miles south of Hainan Island almost to the coasts of Brunei and Malaysia. Since there were reports of large deposits of oil and gas in these areas, China and the other states involved, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, are taking this territorial dispute extremely seriously .

China’s New Aircraft Carrier Program
Regional Ambitions – or Global?