News that China may be in the midst of building its first aircraft carrier is a reminder both of China’s rising geopolitical clout and also the reminder that they remain quite a bit behind us. On top of that, it’s of course a reminder that the political aspects of international relations often lack the cooperative rationalism of the economic aspects. America badly wants to boost exports, China wants an aircraft carrier, and it would be much simpler and cheaper for China to buy an aircraft carrier or two from the United States than to build one at home. We have a lot of expertise in the production of advanced military equipment, and our ability to produce more of it is primarily constrained by the fact that our producers are only allowed to sell to certain select clients.
Robert Farley’s recent article on the promise and peril of a US-India-Japan anti-Chinese entente is also worth reading. Long story short, this is not the best option for the USA though events may transpire to make it the only one.