China’s Shandong aircraft carrier. Reuters
* The centerpiece of China’s rapidly growing navy is its aircraft carriers, with two in service and another on the way.
* The carriers represent a new capability for China’s military, and Beijing has touted them in state media, but Chinese flattops are still not on the same level as US carriers in either technology or experience.
Of all the new weapons in China’s modern, ever-growing military arsenal, few have gotten as much attention as its aircraft carriers.
China has two carriers in service with a third on the way. The first, the Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012, while the second, the Shandong, was commissioned last December.
Chinese state media has repeatedly displayed the ships in flashy videos showing off their capabilities, the most recent of which was released at the end of August.
WNU Editor: China still has a long way to go before it can match the US carrier fleet. But they are working hard to catch up.