The poster does feature China’s own Liaoning aircraft carrier, which was started by the Soviets before being auctioned off to China, which later put it into operation. But that may be the only thing domestic about the photo.
The jet shown soaring off the ship’s deck? It’s a Russian MiG-35 fighter, the South China Morning Post reports. And those two fearsome combat ship escorting the Liaoning? Those are US amphibious combat vessels. So much for Chinese pride.
“This picture shows everyone at the propaganda department is mentally deficient,” said one commenter on Weibo, a hugely popular social media platform in China.
“We are so patriotic, in vain,” another user exclaimed.
A trio of jets prominently depicted flying past are Chinese jets — J-10s, specifically — but the Chinese version of the jet designed for aircraft carrier take-off and landing are the J-15s, the SCMP points out.
To add insult to injury, the imaginative poster isn’t even technically impressive. For all its status as one of the richest nations in the world, China seems to be choosing to celebrate its great army with a design that looks barely one step up from a poster you’d see attached to a street sign designed by a couple of teenagers taking a trial run at Photoshop.
One wonders why the country wouldn’t have chosen to broadcast the newly finished Type 001A aircraft carrier, China’s first indigenously crafted aircraft carrier. It has yet to take to sea, but according to satellite photos, the construction scaffolding around the ship has been taken down, and its commanders are simply waiting for the right tidal conditions to launch the as-yet-unnamed ship.