cdeThe US prefers to talk about engaging with China, but it is clear its navy is now also practising for a potential conflict, reports the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes. You don’t get invited out on a US nuclear aircraft carrier all that often, and after writing this I might not get invited back for a while. On the flight deck of the USS George Washington the noise is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. A few feet from where I am standing, 11 F/A-18 Super Hornets are lining up to be launched. The first one is hooked on to the catapult; there is a massive crescendo as its engines roar to full re-heat. Then in a cloud of white steam the 15-tonne jet is thrown down the deck and off the end of the ship like a toy. Seconds later the deck crew, in their multi-coloured smocks, are calmly lining up the next one. More