The news that China has a working aircraft carrier took the world by storm recently, raising the already loud hubbub about China’s rise to the world’s superpower even higher in the media. Taiwan was even compelled to come out with supposed aircraft-carrier killer missiles, displaying a certain amount of nerve and defiance, if not hubris at always thinking China’s main reason for using an aircraft carrier would be to retake an island just under 200 km away from it. There are new pics of the ship out now and signs are that China is taking baby steps, for instance, not having any planes on the deck or ships alongside the carrier.
The burning question that many have raised is that does this mean China will soon launch a plan for war on neighbors and that it will challenge the US. For me, the latter is a foolish notion and the former is also rather foolish. The thing that irks me is when some commentators question why China would need an aircraft carrier or that this means China will start a war pretty soon. Why shouldn’t China have an aircraft carrier? Fact is, far smaller countries such as the UK, France, Spain, and Italy have carriers. Then, other developing nations such as Brazil and India also have carriers. And even Thailand has one! So why all the irrational furor and alarm over China having one? In fact, India is currently building three, which would bring its total to four when completed.