Skip to comments.China, Casinos and the Ark Royal
Posted on 08/04/2011 6:17:34 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
China, Casinos and the Ark Royal
August 4, 2011 By Harry Kazianis
China has a history of buying old aircraft carriers as casinos, only to end up studying them. Is Britain's Ark Royal next?
For decades now, aircraft carriers have been the dominant symbols of military power and technological strength. Nations who develop them have the ability to strike their enemy from thousands of miles away, inflicting massive damage.
But these vessels also cost billions of dollars to develop and several billions more in maintenance and upgrade costs over their lifecycle. Recent reports over the curious decommissioning and sale of the Cold War era British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal underscore this reality.
In 2010, Britain cut military spending by 8 percent, and its older, but still capable, carriers fell to the austerity axe. In todays era of belt tightening and economic turmoil, British carrier cuts are just one example of the savings that European nations are trying to make. But theres another bit of symbolism here the Ark Royal is rumoured to have been the target of a bid from a jailed Chinese businessman, who wishes to turn the former flagship of the British Navy into a floating casino.
It seems hugely symbolic a reflection of Chinas economic rise, and Britains gradual fall from the top table of international diplomacy. But havent we heard the casino tale before?
Chinese purchases of old carriers for study, under the guise that theyll be turned into casinos or amusement parks, is nothing new. After all, Chinas desire to deploy aircraft carriers in the near
(Excerpt) Read more at the-diplomat.com ...
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