China’s third aircraft carrier, the Fujian, was launched on Friday. With a total displacement of more than 80,000 tonnes, the vessel is the largest of China’s three aircraft carriers.
According to reports, the Fujian is about 300m long and 78m across at its widest point. It is conventionally powered, with a maximum speed of about 30 knots (55.6kph) and can carry 60 aircraft — including about 40 fighter jets, helicopters and airborne early warning and control aircraft. The deck of the carrier is equipped with an electromagnetic catapult system, which can speed up the take-off and landing of fighter jets.
Once it enters service, China’s navy will outperform the navies of most other countries, but there is still a long way to go before Beijing becomes a naval superpower.
When analyzing a nation’s military power, operational experience must also be taken into account. It can be said that the aircraft carriers of the US Navy are still the world’s best, enjoying a glittering record since World War II and an enviable naval culture.
Although the increased displacement of the Fujian is a great improvement on China’s other two carriers, it still cannot compete with the uninterrupted global combat capability of the US’ nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, which have night combat experience unmatched by the Chinese navy.
From the perspective of regional and major-power relations, China is already a “revisionist” and rising power. For Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), the launch of the Fujian creates a propaganda opportunity for him to consolidate his leadership. With the manipulation of nationalism, China’s military establishment is changing the global situation, especially regarding competition for maritime power, having developed itself as a substantial strategic threat to Taiwan, the region and even the US.
Therefore, it is imperative for Taiwan’s military to add large Aegis surface ships, expand its layered deterrence capabilities and purchase more powerful beyond-visual-range air-launched weapons.
Ray Song is a doctoral student at Tamkang University’s Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies.
Translated by Lin Lee-kai
The global chip shortage last year caused an unprecedented supply-chain crisis, affecting many key industries, including the auto industry. Europe, Japan and the US began to realize the indispensability and ubiquitous dominance of Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing industry. At the same time, amid the US-China trade war, Beijing’s military aggressions against Taiwan became increasingly blatant and provocative. In light of these developments, Europe, Japan and the US are formulating new policies to rebuild their domestic semiconductor manufacturing base, so as to mitigate the enormous geopolitical and economic risks involved. Last year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) commanded 56 percent of the global
An April circular by the Chinese Ministry of Education on student admission criteria at Tibetan universities has been harrowing and discriminating to say the least. The circular said that prospective students must state their “political attitude and ideological morality” to be considered for admission. It also said that students should not be involved in religious movements and students who are proficient in Marxist theory should be preferred. Since Beijing started occupying Tibet, it has meticulously introduced policies to dismantle the Tibetan education system, which is closely tied to its rich monastic tradition, and has even pulled students from Afghanistan and eastern
Opinion polls show that Taiwan’s judicial system and law enforcement “enjoy” low approval ratings among Taiwanese. In spite of data showing low crime rates, many Taiwanese drivers have faced aggressive driving, unprovoked road rage, road blocking and unmotivated police officers. Some criminals seem to consider themselves above the law, which is not completely wrong. Reports about so-called “road blocking” can be found in newspapers or on YouTube. An example of this is when “road rowdies” block a vehicle on a road, get out of their vehicle and start to attack the occupants of the blocked vehicle — often attacking in a
When I was teaching in Lesotho in southern Africa during the 1980s, I taught a class on comparative foreign policy. The course included trips to the US embassy, the Soviet embassy, the British embassy and the newly established Chinese embassy. The students could ask the ambassadors and staff questions about foreign policy, and would then write a report as their final term paper. The Chinese ambassador felt that the US-style education I delivered was unique and invited me to go to China to teach. At the time, China was planning to open up to the world, and it needed professors versed