Congratulations are most definitely NOT in order. While the U.S. prepares for across-the-board military cuts, China spent a billion dollars on their military in 2012. Now, officials are reporting China has landed one of their home-built fighter jets on their brand new aircraft carrier.
Reuters reported this “symbolically significant development” in light of China’s desire to become a naval power. The Chinese J-15 fighter plane “is comparable to the Russian Su-33 jet and the U.S. F-18” and can carry a multitude of bombs and missiles. The aircraft carrier, Liaoning, is a reconditioned Soviet ship purchased by China from the Ukraine in 1998.
“China is embroiled in disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam over South China Sea islands believed to be surrounded by waters rich in natural gas. It has a similar dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea,” which explains Chinese President Hu Jintao’s comment that a navy is needed to “win local war.”
According to Reuter’s, China “has also warned the United States, with President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia, not to get involved.”
Read more from Reuters here.
Watch a Chinese fighter jet land for the first time on an aircraft carrier at sea: