The global shipbuilding industry is agog with goings on on the mainland. Will the country become the world leader by 2015, South Koreans and Japanese ask in a concerned voice.
No one could argue that Chinese shipbuilding has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Its shipbuilding output has more than doubled in the last three years, and ships ordered from China during 2003 was twice that of those ordered in the previous year.
One of the most striking features to emerge from a round visits to key Chinese yards was the very different approaches being taken by China's two main shipyard groups.
Responding to a question on the evolution of shipbuilding in different nations, one Chinese yard boss visited by the DNV press delegation gave his personal view as follows. Shipbuilding in Japan and Korea is like ‘people of 35 to 40, who are very strong and at their prime,’ said Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Corp president Ma Guo Dong, ‘while my industry is 16-17 years old.’
Spectacles. That is the image that I am left with after just a few days in China. Someone with poor eyesight has a handicap but, with the right spectacles, they can see as well as someone with perfect vision.