Those Cassandras who believe Cathay is about to rule waves after launching its first aircraft carrier are getting way, way ahead of themselves. One swallow does not make the spring, and one aircraft carrier does not make a battle fleet in being.
The Red Chinese Navy is not about to steam up Chesapeake Bay and launch Jimmy Doolittle-style air strikes on Washington.
But the appearance of China’s flattop is noteworthy coming at a time when maritime tensions have again flared up in the disputed South China Sea.
China’s first flattop was supposed to be a big secret. But it’s hard to conceal a 67,500-ton warship. I’ve been watching the carrier being refurbished for years at the northern Chinese port of Dalian on Manchuria’s highly-strategic Liaodung Peninsula that controls the maritime approaches to Tianjin and Beijing.