Naval War College Review


Just as a newlywed couple wants a “starter home,” a new great power wants a “starter carrier.” China’s navy has finally realized its longtime dream of obtaining an aircraft carrier and sending it to sea. This is the first step in a long journey that will change China’s navy and how it relates to the world. At 5:40 AM local time on Wednesday, 10 August 2011, more than eighty years after the idea was originally proposed, China’s first carrier disappeared into the fog under tight security from Dalian harbor’s Xianglujiao Port, in northeast Liaoning Province, to begin sea trials in the Bohai and northern Yellow Seas. This was yet another coming-out party for China as a great power on the rise.