The History Behind the Aircraft Carrier Liaoning, which was Confiscated by the Chinese Government and is Highly Praised by Xi Jinping
Purchased by a Hong Kong businessman from Ukraine for 2 billion yen with the intention of turning it into an offshore hotel, it was confiscated by the Chinese government, and the purchase cost was even brought to court without a single yuan being paid. ......
The three aircraft carriers will be the mainstay of the Chinese military in the event of an actual “Taiwan contingency,” but in fact, the international community overwhelmingly believes that they will be no match for the U.S. aircraft carriers. The Fujian, completed in June of this year, is the latest model equipped with an electromagnetic catapult, which uses a propulsion system to launch the ship’s aircraft, while the Shandong and Liaoning are “ski jump” carriers that launch from a raised deck. In particular, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was completed in 2012, is an outdated “antique ship.
In 1998, I purchased the aircraft carrier “Varyag” from Ukraine for $20 million. For two years, I drank vodka with Ukrainian government officials and persistently negotiated with them.
Mr. Xu Zhengping, 69, is a well-known wealthy man in Hong Kong. He is the purchaser of Liaoning.
A former basketball player in the People’s Liberation Army who made his fortune in real estate and hotel management after his discharge from the military, Mr. Xu purchased “Walyag” with the intention of turning it into an ocean hotel. The ship was towed from the Black Sea to Dalian, China, via the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean around 2002, and the total cost, including the purchase price, was about 120 million dollars (about 16.4 billion yen). The cost, including the purchase price, was about 120 million dollars (about 16.4 billion yen).
However, an unexpected event awaited Mr. Xu just as the ship was being towed after all the hard work. The “Walyag” arrived at the port of Dalian and was immediately seized by the Chinese government. The “Walyag,” which was to become a maritime hotel, was remodeled and launched as the “Liaoning” in 2012. However, the Chinese government has not paid Xu a single yuan to this day, and around 2015, the case went to court.
“The Chinese government is the other party,” Xu said. The case was settled out of court, and in the end it was settled on the grounds that Xu had donated the money to the government. The construction of China’s own aircraft carrier had been a long-held dream of China since the time of Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s. President Xi Jinping, through the media, has praised Mr. Xu as the ‘father of the aircraft carrier’ and a ‘true patriot’ for bringing it to fruition,” said a friend of Mr. Xu.
Understanding the Chinese government’s situation, Mr. Xu is now happy about the Liaoning’s construction. The “Liaoning” came from Ukraine to China, where it met a strange fate and became an aircraft carrier. I hope that the fate of the Liaoning will not end with her being deployed in actual warfare.
From the September 9, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
Photo.： Reuters/Afro Courtesy of a friend of Xu's