BBC Chinese recently published an analysis on the growth of China’s Navy after the Cold War. With the end of the Soviet Union, the post Cold War period gave China a golden period of time to develop its economic power, which made China the only country that has the potential of establishing an aircraft-carrier-centered navy which is only behind the U.S. fleets. China’s media have been widely reporting on a new China-made carrier, which in August did its final trial sail before delivery. International observers observed that China has been speeding up its aircraft carrier shipbuilding. It is highly likely that China is aiming to build the next generation nuclear-powered carriers. The currently under-construction third Chinese carrier is expected to have important technology achievements. Assuming there is no major economic downturn, the Chinese economy can sustain a carrier-based navy. Today, China has the second highest military budget in the world. Russia is only number six. Chinese military officials commented in a number of earlier press interviews saying that China may need a minimum of five or six aircraft carriers to have “enough” in service with rotating maintenance schedules.
Source: BBC Chinese, September 25, 2019