Global naval balance of power shifting with introduction of China’s aircraft carrier

WASHINGTON — China has showcased its first aircraft carrier landings while maintenance woes have reduced the United States to a single carrier in the Gulf, pointing to the beginnings of a subtle shift in the balance of naval power.

With South China Sea tensions growing, the threat of Middle East conflict still very real and counterterrorism [sic] and counter piracy operations also demanding resources, demands on Western navies — and the U.S. in particular — seem ever-growing.

Even as it emerged that problems with the USS Nimitz would leave Washington unable to maintain its standard two-carrier Gulf force for the first time since 2010, its navy found itself sending new forces to a volatilce eastern Mediterranean. Continue reading