The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) (rear) conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific in Philippine Sea on June 18, 2016. Courtesy Jake Greenberg/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
National Interest: Why China Fears (And Plans to Sink) America's Aircraft Carriers
More than twenty years ago, a military confrontation in East Asia pushed the United States and China uncomfortably close to conflict. Largely unknown in America, the event made a lasting impression on China, especially Chinese military planners. The Third Taiwan Crisis, as historians call it, was China’s introduction to the power and flexibility of the aircraft carrier, something it obsesses about to this day.
The crisis began in 1995. Taiwan’s first-ever democratic elections for president were set for 1996, a major event that Beijing naturally opposed. The sitting president, Lee Teng-hui of the Kuomintang party, was invited to the United States to speak at his alma mater, Cornell University. Lee was already disliked by Beijing for his emphasis on “Taiwanization,” which favored home rule and established a separate Taiwanese identity away from mainland China. Now he was being asked to speak at Cornell on Taiwan’s democratization, and Beijing was furious.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: The Chinese are still decades away from having an aircraft carrier force that can match what the U.S. has. As for sinking U.S. aircraft carriers .... the Chinese appear to be making strides in that department.