What even a modest aircraft carrier can do, in a variety of roles, has impressed itself upon the Chinese. They have avoided buying the wrong platform at the wrong time—conventional large-deck ships may no longer be their “gold standard”—but aircraft carriers of some kind may yet complement their submarine-centered navy.
Erickson, Andrew S. and Wilson, Andrew R.
"China’s Aircraft Carrier Dilemma,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 59
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol59/iss4/4