August 4, 2011
Will China really buy UK's mothballed aircraft carrier?
It was with more than the usual tongue-in-check that AT suggested, back on April 25, that Great Britain's putting its last aircraft carrier, the HMS Ark Royal, up for sale might ultimately put that ship into the hands of the Chinese government. Now we read, in the current issue of The Diplomat, that exactly that very thing may be going on. Harry Kazianis' piece notes that, over the years, the Beijing government has purchased at least four mothballed carriers: one from Australia and three from the former Soviet Union. The Shi Lang, which begins her sea trials soon as China's first aircraft carrier, began life as the Russia carrier, Varyag. The Chinese carrier is named for the Chinese admiral who first conquered Taiwan. There's no sourcing in this story. But The Diplomat speculates that Washington may, in fact, be trying to block a sale of the Ark Royal to Beijing. Let's hope the story is just a wild hair. A successful purchase of the Ark Royal by China would give Beijing the ability...(Read Full Post)