The entry of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, attracts considerable attention from both the press and military observers around the world. It represents China’s global power for some, and a significant step towards a more assertive Chinese navy for others.
5 years after commissioning the Liaoning, China launched its second aircraft carrier – the Type 001A – on April 26, 2017. This ship features some notable enhancements over the Liaoning, and represents an important step in China’s developing aircraft carrier program.
A superpower is distinguished by its power projection abilities. Spurred by economic growth and expanding regional security interests, China has embarked on a large-scale modernization of its military, but it remains unclear if China is yet a global superpower.
China has been steadily developing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) to complement its nuclear deterrence strategy and safeguard its national security. Despite considerable progress, China still faces a number of hurdles in fielding a credible SSBN force.
China’s military budget provides insight into its expanding military capabilities. In terms of gauging relative military strength, defense budgets can be compared between countries and over a set period of time to assess overall trends.