I respectively disagree with you on all your points. Sounds more like what a U.S. Admiral or a neighborhood bully trying to physically intimidate someone. Not China's style. Economic pressure works much more effectively with much less long-term consequences for the bilateral relationship.The primary value of carriers aren’t that they’re an air power delivery system, but that they project *territorial control* by their direct *physical presence*. Trying to exert area control through air power without being physically present is both strategically inefficient and ineffective. Projection is not simply the ability to throw your power across long distances, but to *defend* and *hold* the areas you’re projecting into. Carriers confer massive offensive power, but their *actual* value is about defensive persistence long after you’ve taken territory over a geography in a way that is not land dependent. This kind of capability is *especially* crucial for China to have strategically because China doesn’t have many foreign bases, most of all in the geographies it is most strategically vulnerable in.
I simply cannot come up with a single situation in real life that would change the outcome because China deployed a carrier. If a carrier can make a difference, then chances are you don't need it to resolve the situation more amicably. If a carrier makes no difference, then why bother risking the chance of escalation.
Which country or area do you have in mind? The Malacca Strait? Blockade by which country against which? U.S. against Chinese ships or all ships? How do you think the blockade will be implemented? What is the U.S. motivation or excuse? Is this blockade U.N. authorized? If not, it is technically piracy. What if all ships suddenly changed registry to Panama with Malaysia as destination? Board every ship? Blockades are done with ships (perfect for LCS), not aircrafts. What is the carrier there for? Strafing civilian ships in international waters that don't stop? If carrier is Chinese? You suggest starting W.W.3 by destroying a USN ship? If not, what is the mission objective/rules of engagement for the carrier? So far Chinese carrier construction has been done at a leisurely pace. You don't think China has wargamed the Malacca Strait scenario to death already and decided they can take their time with carriers?
Tactically, the last thing you want a carrier to be is in a confined area. A carrier group needs hundreds of nautical miles of empty sea for self-protection and maneuvering. Any carrier captain (Chinese or American) tries to 'park' near any 'choke' point with military action in mind should be shot on the spot for incompetence and stupidity. Can you imagine all the opposing submarine commanders salivating while shadowing a nearby freighter?
The U.S. will not fight a hot war with another nuclear power for anything less than physical survival. Neither will China. This is why North Korea developed and showed off its SLBM's. In 1996, U.S. informed China before deploying the two carrier group and China told the U.S. about the dummy warheads. U.S. publicly stated the carrier groups were there to show support. Everything else is just for show.
So my view stays the same. Yes, China must acquire a couple 003's followed by serial production of 004's. Great for national pride, job creation, R&D, photo-ops, war movie prop, and of course, show of force internationally. All justifiable reasons and China can certainly afford to do this. One may argue they have 'deterrence' values and they do. I just cannot come up with real world scenario where having carriers is essential and necessary to resolve an actual conflict. Like the two B-2's U.S. used to drop 100 bombs at the cost of over $10 millions in Libya against ISIS, all Chinese carriers' primary reason-to-be is for show ('deterrence' does sounds better).
Aircraft carriers are akin to those extreme-high-end 'Reference' speaker systems or 'Reserve' whiskeys. The companies that make them don't really expect to sell them. Just looking good in showrooms is all they wanted. They made them to say "Hey, look at what I am capable of, so trust me on the cheaper speakers/booze I make".
This is off topic. No more from me as I have said all my brain can muster.