The President’s visit occurred against the backdrop of a growing Chinese naval aviation capability, most prominently embodied by the new Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. Indeed, as with the J-20 test on the eve of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ visit, and the J-31 on the eve of Secretary Panetta’s, Beijing unveiled the J-15 just before Secretary Hagel arrived in China. This new fighter is intended for carrier operations. The Chinese reportedly began large-scale production of this aircraft late last year.
- Dean Cheng is the senior research fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation.
- This piece originally appeared in War on the Rocks and can be viewed in full at http://warontherocks.com/2014/05/taking-chinas-carrier-operations-seriously/
Originally appeared in War on the Rocks