U.S. satellite firm says it has first image of Chinese aircraft carrier
Digital Globe released this satellite image Wednesday, showing what it says is the first look at the Chinese aircraft carrier Varyag.
December 15th, 2011
10:49 AM ET

U.S. satellite firm says it has first image of Chinese aircraft carrier

A photograph of what is purported to be China’s first aircraft carrier has renewed speculation about its military intentions, according to news reports.

U.S. satellite imaging firm Digital Globe said Wednesday on its website that it had captured an image that appears to be the Chinese aircraft carrier Varyag during drills in the Yellow Sea.

The Varyag was reportedly constructed by the USSR in the 1980s but fell into the hands of the Ukraine. The Chinese purchased it sans weapons and navigation systems under the guise of wanting to turn the vessel into a casino, according to a BBC report in August.

Huntsman: China is 'no ally' of the U.S.

The sea trial is the second for the aircraft carrier, which roused international interest on November 29 when it left the port of Dalian in the Yellow Sea. Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at the time that the military exercises were a "routine arrangement," Xinhua reported.

The sea drills are seen as a running display of military might for the Asian nation and come amid several recent high-profile provocations at sea.

Earlier this week the Yellow Sea was the site of a confrontation that resulted in a South Korean coast guard commando being stabbed to death and another injured after they boarded a Chinese fishing vessel they suspected of fishing illegally, CNN reported.

Recent military exercises there have raised awareness of Chinese aspirations in the face of the American naval presence in the region, experts say.

"By itself, the ship does not erode the credibility of America's military presence in the region nor greatly increase China's power projection capabilities. Nevertheless, the vessel is a potent symbol of China's aspirations to become a global maritime power and is yet another indication that the military balance of power is gradually shifting in China's favor," Dr. Ian Storey, of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, told the Guardian newspaper.

Last month the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review, presented annually to Congress, gave fresh warnings that China was conducting sea trials of its first aircraft carrier and developing anti-ship ballistic missiles.

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Filed under: China • Politics • World
soundoff (510 Responses)
  1. Molly

    Americans are always worried about muslims, when in reality the Chinese are a far bigger threat.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bribarian

    sadly america and israel have become the two biggest threats to world peace

    December 17, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • really?

      @Bribarian – LOL One of the most ridiculous comments Ive read in my life. Coming from Canada, I would say the world would be a disgrace if it werent for North America cleaning up the mess around the world. All the money put into these 3rd world countries and when a disaster or crisis hits, whos the first to show up at the door? Get atta here with that nonsense.

      December 18, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. ***DUDE***

    @Bribarian: what do you know? ya don't see canada or mexico worry about having us on their borders.

    December 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipper

      Actually..... We're planning "Operation Leaf Blower", the invasion of Canada. They'll never expect it.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. endtime

    China is major player now. China has vital trade interest in Iran. No more hurling shells and machine guns. The coming war will be nuclear and it will take over 2 billion lives. The balance of power will shift and Hitler and Stalin dreams will come true, for awhile.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiki

      not so much

      December 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff

      Not a logical assesment of the future son.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd Gack

      should be fun

      December 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AdDiCtEd

    **really** & ** Dude** wow wow .. both of our comment are the wrost one i have ever seen posted. you both need to wakeup..are you still high on Drugs.. America doesn't invest their money they are not that dumb.. U.S is Investing Money odn Iraq cause of Oil.. we all know why U.S attacked Iraq, and Helped in Libya.. so that they can get Oil. U.S is the biggest threat to world. Canada should be on Alert.. when U.S will get attacked it might affect Canada too... Sticking fingers in others nose that's what U.S does. It's doesn't matter if U.S and it's allies have Air Craft Carrier.. but if anyother countries will have it then it's a big threat to World. They only thing is they don't want to see other countries getting stronger.. I hope in near future U.S will learn it's lesson.

    December 19, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Marlin

      Attempting to read this was very painfull.

      December 19, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Your Name Here

      May I suggest remedial 2nd grade?

      December 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stvnkrs10

    Bought and paid for by Mom and Pop America buying crap you don't need made in China with tainted materials. Wonder why you get cancer? Look at the Chinese crap you surround yourself with on a daily basis. Where is the crap you let your babies stick in their mouths made? THINK PEOPLE!!!! BUY AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!! If we all insisted on American made goods we wouldn't be having the problems we are.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheKillingWords

      The problem is when people are faced with the choice, they're always going to go with a lower price, no matter where it comes from. Same with business; people always looking for ways to tighten their belts to get that extra 10 cent profit.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Noxx

    Who else skips the articles and reads the comments just to laugh?

    December 20, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • NZCaddy

      Me me me, I LMFAO over these comments. Some people are soo ignorant & dumb. I just pray none of them are in charge of anything important!

      December 20, 2011 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd Gack

      the comments are the best part....makes me feel so normal

      December 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    Some of these comments just crack me up. People get educated and then come back here.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. PaJC

    Hey, aren't they forgetting something? There are no aircraft on that aircraft carrier.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Crazy! The aircraft are kept below deck and then elevated up when it is time to take off. Not a lot of room above deck to store aircraft. Plus they are on sea manuvers so they don't really need any aircraft at this time.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sam

    I'm laughing my butt off at all you panic-stricken fools. It's a freaking Russian aircraft carrier, The Varyag, which was first built in the 1980s (and was obsolete compared to American carriers at this time it was built). It then sat rusting in port for two decades before the Chinese bought it, towed–literally towed–it to China and rebuilt it. It can only launch short-range medium performance fighters and poses absolutely ZERO threat to the US Navy. But hey, I'm sure the networks will be happy to use your fear to sell you more stuff.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You seem like you have an AWESOME sense of humor!!

      December 21, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.- Einstein

    December 21, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • TheKillingWords

      Heh, i've never heard that before. Wow...just wow.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TheKillingWords

    There's only 2 reasons to ever produce hardware like this: Defense and offense. To my knowledge, China's not under threat from anyone...

    December 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sink It

    I say lets put a few good torpedoes in it and see how well it sinks.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BSH

    China lied in order to buy this old aircraft carrier from Ukraine. It was not supposed to be used for military purposes. Not that anybody in the real world believed them, but that's what the diplomats said at the time.

    December 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mipolitic

    wow , walmart will have succure deliveries. just what this world needs another boat with nukes fueled on rushs of adrenalin. we are on a fast track back to the stone age. these chest pounders will not be happy until were back throw spears at each other. the more nuke hardware out there the faster we are coming to a flash point

    December 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
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