China's surroundings could soon be infested with foreign aircraft carriers targeting China, with the latest media reports saying the UK is planning to send an aircraft carrier strike group to the western Pacific as soon as early 2021, while India is eyeing the development of a third aircraft carrier.
Both UK and India's aircraft carrier plans will likely face technical issues, and with China's anti-ship ballistic missiles, which are feared even by US aircraft carriers, the two countries' carriers will be militarily insignificant and could be only political stunts, Chinese experts said on Sunday.
The British navy will dispatch an aircraft carrier strike group, including the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, to waters near Japan as soon as early next year, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on Saturday, citing Japanese government sources.
The British carrier strike group is expected to conduct joint exercises with US and Japanese forces amid "the growing maritime assertiveness of China in the region," the report said.
"The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier has not yet achieved full combat capability, and its aircraft are also not yet fully ready. Sending a carrier that is not combat-ready to the western Pacific will only expose its shortcomings," Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.
India is another country that has an aircraft carrier plan in mind against China. Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said a third Indian aircraft carrier is an operational necessity to counter China's aircraft carrier development plan, the Hindustan Times reported on Saturday.
Song said that India should first finish building its second operational carrier, the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier, before considering a third one. The second one's construction has been delayed for a long time.
India's indigenous aircraft carrier will be commissioned by the end of 2021 or early 2022, a senior Indian Navy officer announced on Wednesday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported at that time.
The UK and India would also need to worry about Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles, but unlike the US, the two countries are not expecting to actually confront China with their aircraft carriers, Song said.
Source: Global times