Further evidence of China’s determination to achieve strike carrier status for its navy allegedly emerged last month when it was revealed that an extraordinary carrier simulator had been constructed from concrete close to the city of Wuhan. However, the carrier Varyag-style top layer flight-deck imposed on a massive factory and office building – including command and control tower as well as ski ramp – might just be the latest boast of a nation on the rise. Another so-called concrete aircraft carrier – but of a more Western design – has been built, surrounded by its own lake, in the Oriental Park near Shanghai. It houses a military museum, and the reality of the Wuhan creation is likely to be the same: Some form of tourist attraction. It all helps to build enthusiasm, and interest in, carrier air power. The real former Soviet carrier Varyag was purchased from the Ukraine a decade ago and is reportedly being converted to a training carrier, with China intending to build two more fully operational fixed-wing aviation ships (one of them nuclear). One day a real Chinese aircraft carrier will be unveiled and it will be floating in salt water rather than in a park or on a trading estate.