China says aircraft carrier now ready for combat

FILE - In this May 2012 file photo provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea. The Liaoning’s political commissar Senior Captain Li Dongyou said China’s first aircraft carrier is now ready to engage in combat, marking a milestone for a navy that has invested heavily in its ability to project power far from China’s shores. (Xinhua, Li Tang, File/Associated Press)

FILE – In this May 2012 file photo provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea. The Liaoning’s political commissar Senior Captain Li Dongyou said China’s first aircraft carrier is now ready to engage in combat, marking a milestone for a navy that has invested heavily in its ability to project power far from China’s shores. (Xinhua, Li Tang, File/Associated Press)

In its Situation Report, Foreign Policy says that it was surprised by China’s announcement yesterday that its aircraft carrier is ready for combat. So was Washington Post in its report yesterday.

In fact, China has not directly made such an announcement. Foreign Policy says China has made such an announcement based on the report on Global Times’ interview with the carrier’s political commissar Li Dongyou, who said in the interview that the ship is “constantly prepared to fight against enemies.”

The US must be surprised because China previously described the Liaoning carrier as a platform for testing and training. US military experts predicted lots of China’s problems in producing carrier-based fighter jets, training pilots for the jets, etc. Even the arrest cable for landing of the fighter jets may be a serious headache.

That is why both Foreign Policy and Washington Post regard Li’s words as surprise announcement in their reports.

Surprise is natural as the US always underestimates China’s ability. However both media are wrong in predicting that the carrier will be used “to reinforce” (Washington Post’s wording) or in “underscoreing” (Foreign Policy’s wording) China’s claims in the South China Sea challenged by U.S. Navy and others.

The Liaoning deploys only 24 J-15s that will not be fully armed due to sky-jump takeoff. The three airports on China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea may accommodate at least 12 dozens of J-20 heavy stealth fighter jets there with much greater fire power. Moreover, China will soon deploy its J-10C stealth fighter jets with entirely new stealth technology completely different from US one.

J-10C instead of J-15 will be able to win dogfight against US F-22 due to its super maneuverability.

Dogfight capability is not necessary for a stealth fighter jet in dealing with a non-stealth one, but is indispensable for a stealth fighter jet in fighting another stealth fighter jet. As F-35 is not designed for fighting a stealth fighter and is a lighter warplane unable to carry better radar, it is utterly no rival to China’s J-20 and J-10C. Only F-22 may be able to contend with J-20 and J-10C, but without ground support near China, it has great disadvantage.

Since China has built three large unsinkable fixed aircraft carriers on its artificial islands in the South China Sea, it needs no aircraft carriers there, especially the Liaoning that is much inferior to US ones.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Policy and Washington Post’s reports, full text of which can be viewed respectively at and


13 Comments on “China says aircraft carrier now ready for combat”

  1. Eastern Looking Glass says:

    The Liaoning’s crew is ready for now to make the Liaoning combat ready. How ever, once the new home-built arcraft carrier is ready, the crew will be transferred there and the Liaoning will be back to square one training a new fresh batch of crew. The sinophobic writer was jumping the gun. He seems to have nothing else to write to justify his pay. The Liaoning for all intents and purposes, remains a training ship.


  2. Joseph says:

    So, the Foreign Policy and Washington Post only ‘assumed’ China making the announcement based on what they interpret on Global Times? What a bunch of incompetent amateurs. Global Times is not even China’s news agency. China’s news agency is Xinhua. I wonder what else they ‘assume’. I suppose they also ‘assume’ that SE Asian nations is with them instead of against them when the American started making mess. And these are the news media that American leadership reads. No wonder American foreign policy is so messed up. They should be categorized as gossip media instead of news media, just like Huffington Post.
    Although the Liaoning is used for training, it is still a warship. It must be ready for combat at any time. The fact that the Liaoning is doing training, means that it is fully operational. Only incompetent crews do not prepare their warships for combat. This is a common fact for navy of any countries, especially America, where a bunch of incompetent crews paid the ultimate price when the Japs attacked their non-combat ready warships at Pearl Harbor. And the Foreign Policy and Washington Post could not interpret this logic when they make the stupid assumption? Perhaps the USS John Stennis and the recent USS Decatur were not combat ready when they make the incursions on SCS. That’s why they left so fast. They were only trying to get to Hongkong for shore leaves but denied permission, they got lost on the artificial islands on their way back, and fled as fast as they could as they were not combat ready.


  3. Eastern Looking Glass says:

    The Washington Post paper and the Foreign Policy blog, like most American mainstream medias and other brainwashed writers, tend to be condescending towards Asians by regarding them as inferior; As being unable to compete with White people in doing what they do. Based on their response and selective use of words, we think they underestimate us. In truth, they first displayed their racism and sense of superiority and then later pretend to be surprised and then patronised us by giving the impression they understimated us. What balderdash. What hypocrisy. In a sense, it was to see the despised Japanese orientals in World War II defeated the White European and American colonialists resoundingly; Kicking them hard in their *rse.

    Now with the racist neocons continue to be in play, they twist our words and continue their tactic of fear-mongering and insults; About the Liaoning being used to protect and defend the “artificial” islands. Who the f*ck do these people think they are? In the first place, the islands were built through China’s own efforts and money. Unlike the bl**dy Americans who forced their military bases on other Asian countries’ – like Japan and South Korea – territories threatening the governments of these countries like a sword over their heads. Secondly, this is the Far East; What business has Washington calling the shots here and dominating the region here? Did you ask for our permission? Rest assure there will be many more “1776s” for them to handle in the coming years if they continue to insist on American dominance.

    Goerge Bush was bad, and Obama/Clinton was worse. Thank God, Obama and his necon BNC is out. We sp*t on him as he departs and hope Trump is not another despicable Empirist.


  4. Steve says:

    I am surprised the F35 is Not designed to compete in a dogfight against another stealth fighter. Sounds really strange with all the financial outlay in producing this state of the art US top stealth fighter. The Japanese are purchasing 42 F35s only to be commissioned in 2023, by then, China could have produced a more advanced version of J-20, J-10D, J-16 fighter jets.

    Since the F35s are Not competitive in a dogfight against China’s J-20s and J-10C, it’s incomprehensible why the Japanese would purchase 42 F35s.


    • Eastern Looking Glass says:

      Have you noticed the Chengdu J-20 is not fitted out with any cannons? Seems the plane is not a complete jet fighter without these. The American F-3 Phantoms learned the importance of cannons during the Vietnam war. Trust Beijing take a note from this.


      • chankaiyee2 says:

        It has a 30mm gun.


      • Steve says:

        Its practically impossible not to be fitted out with any canons, its a jet fighter. The Zhuhai air show is merely a flight demonstration by China’s J-20. In CKY previous post, China’s J-20 is already a world leader and rival to any stealth fighter. This was reported by the PLA media. The J-20s are fitted with equally advanced avionics found in the F35 F22. With the new inclusion of J-10C stealth fighter and J-31 ( in 2018), I believe the US has problems against China. The designation of the J-20s are to destroy big targets like carriers, warships, airports, depots, etc. The F35 is supposed to grab air supremacy, but its now doubtful, by the time the 42 F35s are commissioned in Japan in 2023, China would have upgraded the weaponry and technical outlays of it’s J’s fighters.


    • Simon says:

      The Japs did not want the F35 because it is crap. However their master in Washington demand that they buy their crap and not to sell to the Japs their F22.


      • NIFC-CA says:

        Look up ‘cooperative engagement’ to understand the true role of the F-35. China does not possess that capability.


        • Joseph says:

          So, basically the ‘cooperative engagement’ is to turn the F-35 to be a surveillance aircraft to penetrate deep into enemy’s territory. But why does it needs the Growlers to jam enemy’s radar? Is there something wrong with the F-35 stealth capability that it needs enemy’s radar to be jammed? If I am the enemy, when my radar got jammed, I will suspect something is wrong and be extra alert. More patrols and more eyes open. Thus, it makes the F-35, stealth or not, to be easily busted. Why the American needs to use the F-35 for ‘cooperative engagement’ anyway? Something wrong with the P-8 Poseidon?


        • Simon says:

          The Jap was not inetersted in the F35 and press for the F22. Reason is simple, F35 is a failure and defence companies wan to recoup the cost. Canada also were not interested in F35. You wonder whay America is so keen to get rid of the damn thing.


        • Steve says:

          The CEC and NIFC-CA sounds relevant, but the US UAVs, F18 hornets, ground support, drones, radar are junk status inside China’s A2/AD. The F18 hornets are obsolete crap only used by the US navy and Australian airforce, although recently being upgraded, will never survive in a dogfight. China’s latest UAVs at the Zhuhai airshow has the best avionics, can fly higher and longer than any US crap. The F35 F22 has little or no ground support inside the A2/AD unless little Japan are willing to be used as a scapegoat. China’s anti stealth radar will light up the US F35 F22 with no where to hide.

          China’s J-20s super reconnaissance and command stealth fighter will guide its drones, non stealth fighter jets like AEW&C and swamp the defenceless US CEC & NIFC-CA doctrine like bee stings. The J-20 APA radar, electronic warfare and electro-optical systems are second to none. China already possess such doctrines, capability and integrated designs and with the latest J-10Cs, the US and Japan has No other fighter to command any doctrinal strategy against China’s airforce. The F35s cannot go alone and needs technical support and without ground command the F22s are stuffed. US navy will be wise to stay outside the A2/AD. In short, the US has lost air supremacy, let alone a heavy fighter like China’s J-20 designed to kill aircraft carriers and ground based assets. U are better off scaring India with your crap.


      • Joseph says:

        In the 1980s, the Japs almost took over American economy. There were real anti-Jap fear that America will be ruled by Japanese corporations. But when Bill Clinton came to office, the Japs were forced to take economic policies that were helping American economically but self-destructing to the Japs. Clinton saved American economy for time being, and the Japs took the fall. That’s what a subordinate nation does. Obviously the American wants to save face by at least having a pawn to use their disastrous, budget-stealth junks. It is a lot better for the Japs to develop their own Mitsubishi F-X, but do they have a choice?


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