China's ever-largest naval display a hit among people, on line or off (2)
| In a military fans' blog on sina.com, readers were almost unanimous on the argument that China should build at least one aircraft carrier, for the sake of sovereignty safety and military dignity. But they were divided in whether they would donate money to it.
Some wrote that they were willing to donate, maybe one month's salary, if the government decides to build an aircraft carrier. Some wrote they would donate money only if it is strictly audited. Still some others wrote that China should only build an aircraft carrier if there's enough government budget to spend.
A naval parade of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and aircraft is held in waters off China's port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
On a popular news portal 163.com, netizens posted photos of their envisioned future carrier. They went so far as to name the potential carrier. Their favorite names are Mao Zedong, the late Chinese Communist leader who helped found the people's republic, the Great Wall, and the Diaoyu Island, where China and Japan occasionally hold territorial disputes.
Off the Internet, the grand display also drew wide attention from military fans, either out of pure love or commercial motives.
Out in the parks of Fuzhou, capital of southeastern Fujian Province which faces Taiwan across a narrow strait, 25-year-old Zhu Wulin was pleased to see that his handmade warship models had been selling well these days.
"I've sold more than 40 models since February," said Zhu, a proud military fan himself.
A nuclear-powered submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a naval parade of the PLA Navy warships and aircraft in waters off Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
Zhu makes a living by selling warship models he makes based on the pictures of real PLA Navy warships. Each model, priced at around 200 yuan (30 U.S. dollars), is made of aluminum.
Different from Zhu, 39-year-old Xu Yusheng was just disappointed that the naval display was not broadcast live.
"I really hoped to watch it live, but later news snatches made it up to me," Xu told Xinhua over phone. Xu works for a private company in suburban Shanghai.
Although public enthusiasm was high, the grand display was, according to officials, targeted more at foreign defense analysts as a gesture to show that China's naval forces are willing to work more with their counterparts and to ease fears of China becoming a "threat" to world.
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