I wrote a paper when I was in the Air Force about the impact of a Chinese Aircraft Carrier Group and what it would mean when they got two of them. Notice I said “when” and “two”. So far they have one operational carrier and are working on the second. I stated back then, once China had two carrier groups they would use one to guard the South China Sea and the second one would be used internationally.
What does it mean to use an aircraft carrier internationally? Just look at how we use ours here in the United States. This weapon system has been used for decades to extend our foreign policy. Even at peace, it is an unmistakable expression of power and influence. Few countries have this capability. Notice Russia has only one which is old and seldom used. It is outdated and the design limits its capabilities. China’s ships were built at least partially by Russia explaining the ski jump launch design.
The bottom line? When China has two groups, I predicted they will use them on the global stage to press forward their agenda. Within three years, we will all find out what that is.