RIMPAC, One Big 党!

RIMPAC is the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii. And guess who is invited for the first time as a participant:

The Chinese Navy will participate in the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii next year, marking the first time that China will send ships and troops to the multinational war games.

San Diego’s Third Fleet runs the biennial event, and last year five San Diego warships attended.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, center, inspects the guard of honor on the aircraft carrier Liaoning
Chinese President Hu Jintao, center, inspects the guard of honor on the aircraft carrier Liaoning.

China’s involvement is an about-face from the last round of RIMPAC, in 2012. Back then, China wasn’t invited and Chinese media outlets were cool to the naval exercises.

One piece in an English-language China newspaper at that time said, “The exercise is nothing but a big party held by the U.S., which is in a melancholy state of mind due to difficult realities.”


青岛, China’s First Aircraft Carrier

The top comments talking about China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, are hilarious. From the Yahoo article about the carrier anchored in the northern port in Qingdao:

-On Wed. nights the galley features all you can eat American food………

-“The Chinese purchased this ship, in response to a really bad Kung Foo movie, that was posted on U-tube (that the President disproves of) and we will throw the movie maker in jail, on trumped up charges” (USA State Dept official statement)

-I heard they bought it off of craigslist.

-And the President is discussing his options, with his main security expert ( Oprah) this very minute……

-“Permanent base” don’t you mean “dealership” ?
(radio ad spot) “Those pesky Americans and Israelis got you down, Abdul ? Got a few trillion barrels of oil burning a hole in your pocket? Common down to Honest Wang’s Happy day Aircraft carrier, and ballistic missile emporium, where “terrorist” are treated like family, and democracy is a “dirty word” ……call to arrange YOUR test drive, today!”

-Batteries not included.

-I hear that you can rent it for parties, weddings, or third world wars!

-it has a sweet ramp for making jumps

-Qingdao (青岛)is also a pretty good beer. It is written on the label as Tsing tao. Well worth a try.

-Don’t they know its bad luck to rename a ship.

How ironic, even they did not want anything “Made In China”.

-Qingdao?… Good beer…

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is anchored in the northern port in Qingdao.
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is anchored in the northern port in Qingdao.

Qingdao (青岛) is both the carrier’s name and beer name? Kind of like the USS Coors?

Chinese Women, Carrier Style

Um, look closely at the Chinese girls, below, at a bar. Do you see what they are doing?

Chinese Women Carrier Style (航母style)

Yes, the bar girls are inspired by the take-off and landings of J-15s on China’s new Liaoning aircraft carrier. Here is the USS Stennis’ LSO launching a plane:

Flight deck launching officer, Lt. Cmdr. Pete Salvaggio, from Smithtown, N.Y., gives the final launch signal as an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 takes off from the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

You got to get lower, ladies, like the LCDR. For more Chinese news, please read about tough, good guy Shen Jianzhong. . .

A J-15 Takes Off from the Liaoning

China is embroiled in at least two neighborly disputes: with the Philippines and Vietnam over South China Sea islands and with Japan over islands in the East China Sea. Still, they took time to release this curious, oddly perfect picture of a J-15 taking off from their new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning:

A carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet takes off from the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, in this undated handout photo released November 25, 2012. China has successfully conducted flight landing on its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, after its delivery to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on September 25, 2012, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Hand Salute: Mark (Thanks for the tip!)

Meet Dai Mingmeng, China’s Jet Jock

The dragon of the east, China, has started carrier flight operations off the Liaoning. And flying the Su-33 clone, the J-15, was pilot Dai Mingmeng:

Aircraft carrier Liaoning’s first pilot, Dai Mingmeng.

Congrats Dai. That is an accomplishment. Now fly 1000 more. . .

Baying about Bayonets

I caught a partial conversation about bayonets today on the radio. And then I saw an article about it at a blog. (Sure, I understand it is a political story. And I avoid those type of posts.) Does China know that bayonets are old-fashioned? Shush, don’t tell ’em:

Naval honor guards stand as they wait for review on China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning in Dalian in Liaoning Province. China’s first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned after years of refitting and sea trials.

One very good way to ruin your poker career is to practice close-order drill with a bunch of bayonet-toting Sailors. There is a reason half those guys are known as Lefty. Wot’s the udda half known as? Yes indeed: Righty. . .

More Trolls, This Time from the East

Ah trolls, they lurk and imagine I will post their diatribes freely. I do post ’em, but keep ’em on a tight rope. This is Walter’s 1.3 yuan (roughly $.02), responding to this post:

Walter said:
Green-eyed already? Speaks tons about your sense of security, or lack of. First of all, there wasn’t any “fanfare”, China kept a low profile. Secondly, Liaoning isn’t exactly a “catchy name”, just the name of a province in China. Not being a democracy means their military doesn’t engage in vulgar displays to justify military crap. China does everything by the book. The Lioaning isn’t meant to be a working aircraft carrier, just a proof of concept — to have a taste in operating such vessels. They can’t learn it anywhere and no one will teach them — certainly not from the declining superpower that is jealous of its rise. They follow that pragmatic method of learning-by-doing with unambitious steps in their first a-bomb, h-bomb, nuclear-powered subs. Where were you then? Giggling I suppose.

My reply:
Walter, Walter, Walter. I am giggling, at your response. My post was tongue-in-cheek; of course the Lioaning is not a catchy name. As for the PRC learning-by-doing, perhaps learning-by-stealing is the more apt phrase. And since your IP address resolves to Taiwan, I am surprised you are so supportive of your northern pals. (Note: please pronounce pals with a sardonic twist. I would not want to be misconstrued.)

Blogs. They are to diplomacy what the repeating rifle was to war. Speaking of China, did you know that 2 American middies were on the Zhenghe for 2 weeks this summer?

Don’t Break Out the Dim Sum Just Yet, China

Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test on the sea.

The People’s Republic of China bought the aircraft carrier, the Varyag, in 1998. Then they switched its name to the catchy handle Liaoning. With great fanfare, China formally entered the vessel into service yesterday:

The carrier is the former Soviet navy’s unfinished Varyag, which was towed from Ukraine in 1998 minus its engines, weaponry and navigation systems. Christened the Liaoning after the northeastern province surrounding Dalian, the ship began sea trials in August 2011 following years of refurbishment.

But with no air component, as in no attached squadrons? Good luck learning how to launch flight ops in rough seas, at night.

I remember standing on Vulture’s Row of the USS George Washington and screaming at the guy perched next to me: I could watch this (flight ops) all day! I could, it is like a fine ballet. Only I don’t like ballet. And I like flight ops. . .