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How China is Becoming a Superpower (Think Aircraft Carriers)

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Type 002’s development is the breakneck speed at which it is being produced and transferred to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)

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China is forging ahead with the construction of its third aircraft carrier in under a decade, highlighting the scale of Beijing’s maritime ambitions.

Quite reasonably, others have wondered why China is proceeding with the development of Type 002 without waiting to benefit from the logistical and engineering experience from completing Type 001A.

A series of satellite images from the Jiangnan shipyard, recently published by a China-focused think tank, shed light on the ongoing construction of China’s Type 002 carrier.

The images reveal a typical military vessel construction site, replete with a floodable basin and multiple sluice gates.

While the haziness of the photos makes it difficult to discern the carrier’s dimensions, the hull appears to measure forty meters in width by forty-eight meters in length. If prior reports are accurate, Type 002 will be larger and much heavier than its predecessors at a displacement of up to eighty-five thousand tons versus the sixty thousand to seventy thousand tons. The carrier is widely expected to feature a conventional propulsion system, though other technical details remain scant.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Type 002’s development is the breakneck speed at which it is being produced and transferred to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with its commission set for 2022. Type 002’s most recent predecessor, Type 001A, was laid down in 2013 and is still undergoing sea trials. Even China’s oldest aircraft carrier, the Type 001 Liaoning, was only declared battle-ready as late as 2016, on the heels of a tortured acquisition and retrofit process.

Mark Episkopos

Security, Asia

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China

Why Foreign Firms Struggle to Break Into China

In 2017, an analysis by Goldman Sachs found that while S&P 500 companies earned 30 percent of their revenues outside of the United States, China accounted for only 1 percent of their revenues.

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For growth-starved Western entrepreneurs, the Chinese market is appealing. Think about it: Since 1995, China’s economy has grown by a factor of 18.5, from US$735 billion to US$13.6 trillion (excluding Hong Kong).

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China

How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals

Over the last two decades, the number of Chinese overseas travellers rose by over 25 times from 5.3 million in 1997 to 130 million in 2017, contributing an estimated US$250 billion to overseas economies

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Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions.

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Within the space of just 15 years, China has gone from being the largest net lender to the world to now being a net borrower. The implications for the global economy, and China’s role within that economy, could be significant.

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‘If you owe the bank $1 million, you have a problem. But if you owe the bank $1 trillion, then the bank has a problem’. It’s an old gag, but it underscores an important point: the size of your borrowing or lending can have profound implications for your role in the world.

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