|This could threaten Japan, albeit quite briefly|
"All of the great nations in the world own aircraft carriers – even Britain, if you count tiny ones. They are symbols of a great nation," said Qi Jianguo, assistant to the chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army. “When the Chinese people have an aircraft carrier at last, we can fill it with glorious J-20 fighters that definitely aren’t shoddy copies of an American F-22 that was shot down over Serbia a couple of years ago. Given 20 or 30 years and an inexhaustible supply of enthusiastic revolutionary pilots, we are confident that we will also discover how to land them back on again on a short, pitching deck.”
Defence experts warn that, once the rust is scraped off, the half-finished antique will be completed to the usual exemplary Chinese quality-control standards – meaning that the fragile balance of global power will be dramatically shifted eastwards for just over a year, until it rolls over and sinks.