'Top Gun'-Inspired Propaganda Film Goes Viral in China (Video)

3:51 AM PST 04/22/2014 by Clifford Coonan
QQ
A still from the Aviation Industry Corporation of China's propaganda video

The lavish six-minute short, featuring sailors running on the beach, pumping iron shirtless and flying J-15 fighter planes -- all to a Tibetan pop anthem soundtrack -- has been watched more than four million times.

Move over, Top Gun -- make way for the J-15 fighter pilots swooping off the deck of the gleaming Liaoning aircraft carrier as Tibetan singer Rong Zhong Er Jia belts out the specially commissioned song "Lead the Dream."

The high production values, scenes of handsome sailors running on the beach and exciting footage from the cockpit of the J-15 have struck a chord in China -- the video has scored more than four million hits online.

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And the lyrics are guaranteed to lift the heart of the Chinese patriot, full of references to “eagles eager to soar” and “oceans surging strength,” and insights into how the “land sows sincere love deeply.”

The six-minute propaganda video was made by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the company responsible for refitting the Soviet-era aircraft carrier for the Chinese PLA navy, which the Chinese bought from the Ukraine in 1998.

The song is available with or without singing, to maximize its karaoke potential.

“The short film was directed like a Hollywood blockbuster and made many people realize that Chinese aircraft could be cool,” a military fan surnamed Zhang told the Global Times newspaper.

“The film was made in an effort to activate patriotic enthusiasm, attract more young people to join the country's development of aircraft and carriers as well as to realize the Chinese dream,” said AVIC spokesman Zhu Hongbin, quoted in the Global Times.

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Letting the public know more about the aircraft carrier will help them know about the construction of national defense and display a "more transparent China," said Zhu.

The video also marks the 65th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy on Apr. 23.

The Liaoning is a potent symbol of China’s growing military might, which has alarmed its neighbors and the United States. China’s ongoing claims to vast areas of water and mostly uninhabited islets in the South China Sea and East China Sea have caused tensions with all of its neighbors, especially Japan.

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