China is beginning to flex its shipbuilding muscles. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC), the conglomerates in charge of most of the country's shipyards, plan to reach the summit of world shipbuilding by 2015 through shipyard modernisation and increased efficiency and rationalisation.
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) has recently taken delivery of the first VLCC vessels to be built in China. Chairman and managing director Mohammad Souri gives "thumbs up" to the Dalian New Shipyard, describing the vessels' quality and performance as "highly satisfactory and exceeding our expectations".
With about 40 ships ordered at Chinese yards, no other Western company has as much experience of building in this country as the UK's Graig Group.
During a recent visit to China, editors of some leading shipping publications got a closer look at China's dynamic shipbuilding market. Here are some of their remarks.