A decade ago, myriad questions hung over the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The only modern vessel it seemed capable of building in a hurry was a coastal fast attack craft, hardly the stuff of a world-class fleet. Where were the large surface combatants or even the frigates that are the workhorses of any sea service? And then there was the biggest question of all: would China actually go all in for the “holy grail” of naval prestige and build an aircraft carrier? Things look very different from today’s vantage point. Not only are China’s simultaneous destroyer and frigate (and cruiser and cutter) programs the envy of the world, Beijing’s aspiration to wield “super carriers” is no longer a laughing matter at all.