This is pretty much all the proof I need that China has plans.
What kind of country would need a strong navy?
Island nations. Nations with lots beach front real estate. The UK. The US. Australia.
Because if you don't have much beachfront to defend..
I mean look at WW2.
Germany, not landlocked but definitely not a naval powerhouse. It had no need for an imposing naval force so it didn't waste resources on one. Instead, it focused on sneaky submarines aka U-boats.
Smart plan, I'd say. U-boats wrecked shit up back in the day, for half the cost!
What is a Carrier?
The Aircraft carrier is not just the prize of any Navy, it is the ultimate expression of remote power. For an abstract example, in a way, Japan is like an unsinkable carrier for the United States in the pacific ocean, and lets the US impose its will in the North pacific region (which these days amounts to keeping China in check, but also provide security for the trade routes and other interests), for better or for worse.
Think England during WW2, i.e. unsinkable carrier that lets a country remotely impose military power.
D-Day would not have been possible if England was unavailable as a staging ground.
"Man made" Carriers are made with pretty much the philosophy. They let a Nation remotely impose power.
Also, carriers are expensive.
In other words, no country (I assume) would use so many resources to build a DEFENSIVE carrier.. that just makes no sense.
Whats more, if you read the white papers (aka public reports on spending and shit like that, everyone does it and its all public record) released by China show that China has significantly upped its military spending every year. Not on the level of the US, but when it comes to sheer number of bodies..
And the thing is, its also pretty clear that China is intentionally playing down the military spending.
Why wouldn't you want the world to pay no mind as you build a massive army? A massive OFFENSIVE army, mind you. Carrier and all.
The Geography of China is interesting too and also tells a story. You have the Gobi Desert to the north, the Himalayas to the west, a tropical jungle to the south, and one long beach. It is no wonder that ancient civilizations chose this area to settle.
Easily defendable from all sides, more so after the great wall came up. Very hard to invade.
North Korea also spends massive MASSIVE chunks of, the spending policy of North Korea is basically Military and Miscellaneous.
North Korea, however, has a pretty good reason for wanting a massive army. For defensive reasons. Technically, North Korea is still at war, and their main enemy has an unsinkable carrier right in their front yard.
China, on the other hand.. I mean I'm all for a sovereign nations right to have a standing army and of course defend itself from foreign invasion.
At some point though, you're not waiting for an attack, you are preparing for one, if you get what I mean.
I highly doubt that China has world domination in mind.
But regional domination? You think those man made islands in the South China Sea are being built where they are for defensive purposes?
Speaking of regional domination, what nation by virtue of its unsinkable carrier in the pacific, not to mention having a base on a easily defendable peninsula that is connected by land to mainland China, currently holds this title in the pacific region, both North and South?
In the end, I think that China and the US can resolve things peacefully, but it will involve the US seceding some control in the region. This is something that Trump has talked about wanting to do anyways.
The only problem is, well first of all, America enjoys the Benefits of being the dominant regional power, I can guarantee you that. It isn't cheap, but it does have its advantages.
More than that, is smaller to middlin powers like The Philippines who have been loyal to the US are understandably worried.
Even Japan, which many of the SEA countries are starting to look towards in hopes of being able to create a coalition that can stand up to a Pacific Region with no US, hopes that the US will stick around for a while.. while it lowkey has been building up a super high tech *mostly* defensive army as fast as it can without causing fuss.
If Japan was strong enough to stand on its own against China already, then the US could more confidently leave the area knowing that they have a strong Ally in the region that will protect their mutual interests, which is really the next best thing after an unsinkable carrier.
On paper though, the US cannot push to militarize, as much as it wants Japan to, because of the Constitution that the US wrote for them after WW2 strictly forbids it.
Funny how those overly harsh terms really come back to bite you sometimes..
China is gearing up for war because carriers.