Grumpy Old Man
Verified Defense Pro
my own view is that she's going to spend a few years as a test bed for future systems as well as the focus for a change in their navy doctrine. ie they can do "great white fleet" flag showing events as well as do symbolic show and tells around their sea lanes.The key point is that while the ship is not a particularly advanced Carrier by current definitions, it will serve and ensure a full compliment of trained and experienced crews and airwings, by the time the Indigenous ships and finished and put into service.
I'd very pretty surprised if their next carriers look like Varyag - and I can't see them staying with soviet/russian carrier doctrine - their maritime force development is already along the lines of the USN and NATO bluewater navies.
Soviet/Russian doctrine was about a carrier running flag as part of a surface action group - not as a carrier group in its own right.
chinese force development at both the army and maritime level is heading down western constructs, their airforce structure may still reflect russian structure, but I think you can see that its moving away from that model as well. Once they transition from GCI emphasis, then we'll see significant changes.