China’s new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has a 14,700 square meters flight deck that allows a wide array of uses. But it’s a safe bet that a setting for a music video was not on the radar screen of either its original Ukrainian builders of recent US Office of Naval Intelligence threat analyses.
Greetings from the Liaoning
For the 2015 Chinese New Years this February (which is the 4713, 4712 or 4652 Chinese New Years, depending on who you ask), over a thousand Chinese sailors and air persons lined up on the Liaoning’s ski ramp to say hi to the cameras. This wasn’t just any ordinary photo op, but for the photoshoot of the Chinese Central Television (CCTV)’s Chinese New Year Gala, broadcast on February 18, 2015.
33rd CNY Gala
The CCTV New Years Gala is perhaps the most widely viewed national TV broadcast in the world, with 700 million Chinese tuning in for 2014, which was considered a low year. The 2015 Gala heavily featured political themes promoted by the Chinese Communist Party, such as ethnic harmony (an ethnic Uighur host) and anti-corruption (two comedy skits). President Xi Jinping was the star of a music video, in which he met with various PLA units around China, including the Liaoning.
Another CCTV New Years
And it wasn’t just any music video filmed on the carrier. “I Give My Heart to You”, is a political love song with lyrics like “My motherland, my brothers and sisters/ I give my heart to you”, the crowning cap to a gala that emphasizes key themes of the Xi Administration, such as social stability, patriotism and anti-corruption. In ten years time, perhaps a reissue of “I Give My Heart to You” could feature a fully operational Chinese carrier group as part of the festivities.
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