The Chinese want a modern and formidable blue-water Navy. Hard to be a serious global player without one. Equally difficult, it seems, to create one. Especially the aviation component, where the United State has no equals and, in fact, no other nation even comes close.
China’s navy, as Robert Beckhusen of Real Clear Defense reports, is having its problems with the carrier Liaoning:
… 53,000-ton, 999-foot-long carrier [that] could be dangerous to her crew and prone to engine failures. If so, that makes the vessel as much of a liability as an asset to Beijing.
… on at least one occasion during recent sea trials, Liaoning appeared to suffer a steam explosion which temporarily knocked out the carrier’s electrical power system. The failure, reported by Chinese media site Sina.com, resulting from a leak in “the machine oven compartment to the water pipes.”
The ship was actually built by the Soviet Union, back when it had dreams of ruling the waves, and the ship’s construction is evidence of its origins. It is a piece of nautical junk, like the :
The 50,000-ton Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov [which] goes nowhere without a tug escort in case her engines break down while underway.
Liaoning is more alike to its ex-Soviet cousins than different—confined to home ports and restricted from challenging rivals like India.
The United States Navy scraps better aircraft carriers (e.g. the Enterprise) than any other nation builds or sails.