In 2013 the Chinese #navy had purchased the hull of an old Soviet-era carrier lying with Ukraine. The hull was towed from the Black Sea to #china where a massive refurbishment program commenced. The aircraft carrier has been ready for the last year and a half but it was used mainly as a training ship, as the Chinese had no experience operating aircraft carriers. The carrier has now been put through its paces with a live fire exercise integrated with naval surface ships and aircraft.

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China, dominant force

In contrast, the US navy has been operating aircraft carriers for close to a hundred years. The only other country having experience of operating such warships is Japan, but it has none at the moment.

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At one time the Japanese navy had a first-rate carrier fleet and 4 of them took part in the attack on Hawai. A pacifist constitution and defeat in WWII resulted in an emasculated Japanese navy, and China is now the dominant power in Southeast Asia.

US 7th fleet

The US has the 7th fleet and a carrier task force to face China. This is a source of friction with China which has dreams of global dominance. The Chinese are now feverishly building aircraft carriers. They are also putting their aircraft carrier Liaoning through its paces for combat. This has resulted in a massive sea-air exercise in the South China sea. The Liaoning was part of the exercise and the Chinese-built J-17 fighter jets from the carrier took part. No aircraft was lost, unlike the Russian carrier Kuznetsov losing a plane on the first day of combat in the Mediterranean.

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The Chinese conducted a live fire exercise and are on the way to perfecting carrier operations.

Future

This was the first exercise involving live fire for the Liaoning. One exercise is not enough to perfect carrier operations. The Chinese carrier looks impressive but in reality, compared to the US carriers it is puny. The aircraft carrier can, however, overwhelm the small peripheral nations around the South China sea like Vietnam and Philippines. It will further the Chinese policy of being the strong man in the area, as well as reinforce its claims on the islands in the South China sea. Donald Trump as President will have his hands full as he faces China. #military