China’s navy has in recent years been eager to show off its growing military might and capabilities, hoping to gain a new image as a modern and tech-savvy outfit.
However, getting rid of the popular perception that it still lags — by a huge stretch — the Western powers in naval vessel expertise is proving to be difficult.
A video clip aired by state television this week certainly won’t help matters.
In the footage shown on CCTV Monday, the crew of missile destroyer Zhengzhou, one of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 052C type destroyers, was seen struggling after a problem arose on the vessel.
The military ship, which was said to be conducting a maneuver somewhere in the western part of the Pacific Ocean late last year, saw a hatch door break open after the vessel was buffeted by stormy weather, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Two crew members tried to close the door but couldn’t manage the task. Instead, the footage showed the soldiers being knocked down to the floor after getting hit by the door. One of the persons is said to have suffered serious injuries.
Meanwhile, several other soldiers were seen trying to drain the water out with washbowls and buckets. The exercise lasted for more than two hours before the door was finally welded and sealed.
After seeing the clip of the bumbling crew, online forums in the mainland lit up with sarcastic comments about the navy, with people referencing the poor quality of the ship as well as the crew’s inability to cope with emergencies.
A netizen remarked wryly that the crew’s handling of the incident made the vessel “as vulnerable as tofu”.
“Is the design of the vessel and crew training based on the standard of a pond instead of the ocean?” another person wondered.
(CCTV) click here