China’s Aircraft Carrier and the Human Race

Something is missing from China’s aircraft carrier, pictured bottom.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, on September 25 and has now launched a destroyer, the Type 052D Luyang III-class. Despite insisting that the Liaoning will help China “enhance its role as a defender of regional stability and world peace,” as Rear Admiral Yang Yi said last month, ordinary people in China and the region are both wary. Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin wrote a paean to the Liaoning on Weibo:

HuXijin: Congratulations on the commissioning of China’s first aircraft carrier. This is a great day in the history of the Chinese navy. China is experience the beginning of something which has significance for the entire human race. We must keep up our mindset and our aspirations in step with these changes. The aircraft carrier may well turn the course of Chinese history away from war, not the reverse.

胡锡进:祝贺中国首艘航母服役。这是中国海军史伟大的一天。中国在经历一个有全人类意义的开始,我们的思考,我们的胸怀得跟上这些变化。航母很可能在让中国历史性地远离战争,而不是相反。

The vessel raises obvious concerns about China’s claims to disputed territories in the East and South China seas. Besides the recent protests over Japan’s purchase of some of the Diaoyu Islands, China and the Philippines wrangled over the Scarborough Shoal earlier this year. But the aircraft carrier symbolizes something else to Chinese netizens, who focus instead on the lack of aircraft on this refurbished Ukrainian ship. From CDT Chinese:

Qinsir1978: The entire human race? What the hell! I nearly thought our aircraft carrier landed on the moon.

秦sir1978:吓我,还全人类,我还以为中国航母登月了。

JingZhi: Are we seriously making this big of a deal about a second-hand ship?

敬智:一条二手船至于吗?

PyongyangPropaganda: There are so many stealth aircraft on the carrier. Stealth technology is awesome—it absolutely has significance for the “entire human race.”

平壤宣传:舰上好多隐形战机啊,隐形技术真是太棒鸟——完全具有”全人类意义”。

HotspotShark: Sail to Panjin to maintain stability.

热点shark:开到盘锦去维稳

Edwards-2012: It should be named the Liaoning Panjin.

Edwards-2012:辽宁盘锦号 [威武]

PreciousSwordSharpenout-Sharpenin: Don’t use it against the people, please.

宝剑锋从磨砺出–磨砺中:不要用来对付人民喔

ChangJiangPo: Waste of money!

长江坡:费钱!

asdone: The Party’s army has one more sharp tool for stability maintenance. We just don’t know when we can get our Diaoyu Islands back.

老大一头牛:党军又多维稳利器。只是不知何时能把钓鱼岛抢回来

DaiJianyeWeibo: The fall of the former Soviet Union was not because the country didn’t have an aircraft carrier, but because its people didn’t have freedom; the prosperity of the United States today is not because of advancement in military technology, but because of its democratic social system.

戴建业微博:前苏联的崩溃,不是由于它的国家没有航母,而是由于它的人民没有自由;今天美国的富强,不是由于拥有先进的军事技术,而是由于它拥有民主的社会制度。

SimiOnWalk: Three years after the former Soviet Union built and sailed this aircraft carrier, the glorious nation fell on its ass. China…

Simi行走在路上[睡觉] 前苏联建了这艘航母 下水三年 伟大的苏维埃共和国就嗝屁了。中国……

Translation by Mengyu Dong.

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