But in one point, want it or not, they have to challenge American hegemony. Not because the moment have arrived, but because they're forced to do so.10 is too much. China does not want to challenge American hegemony. 4 carriers are defenseless enough. Another reason is that an aircraft carrier is so expensive, it's a bottomless hole and becomes a maintenance and logistics nightmare. The money to build an aircraft carrier is enough to buy about 7-8 thousand anti-ship missiles.