Chinese Aircraft Carrier Gets Slick Propaganda Video

April 21, 2014 4:29 pm Last Updated: April 21, 2014 4:29 pm

A state-run aviation company in China has produced a “Top Gun” style music video for the Chinese military’s’ first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. 

The video, commissioned by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, includes the Tibetan singer Rongzhongerjia in a white suit, singing karaoke on top of the carrier as planes rocket off, presumably to do battle against China’s enemies. AVIC presides over 200 different companies, 23 of which are public, and it has total assets of over $46 billion. 

According to Xinhua, the official news agency, the video was created to assist with the “realization of the great Chinese dream.” Xinhua said that the music video was made public on the eve of the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. That fell on April 23, 1949, the same year that the Chinese Communist Party declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China. 

Notably, the short film includes Chinese pilots gearing-up, entering their jets, and flying away in a “Top Gun” style shot sequence. Fortunately there was no use of actual footage from the Hollywood movie; China Central Television was widely mocked for lifting scenes from the film for an actual news report in 2011.

Official Chinese media have for a long time produced videos extolling the martial power of China’s armed forces, but the slick production values in this effort appear to be part of a deliberate attempt to reach new demographics in China. Xinhua said that the video was made in part to “excite the Chinese people’s passionate love for the country, and attract the interest of the great scores of young people.”

The director of the film, Liu Xiaoshi, had some sobering words for outside observers about how the ideas depicted in the video fit into the image of the country that the Chinese Communist Party seeks to craft. “It rouses our awareness of the need to strive forward. Only by upgrading its national defense power can a country truly realize long-term peace and stability for its nation and people. Only by advancing in military science and technology can our compatriots be safe. Only when the whole world is at peace will our flesh and blood pass happy lives.”