Good Dragon, Nice Dragon

...and then there's the other dragon. The Chinese produce a film that sounds at first as if it were a Sino-centric version of Act of Valor.
Somewhere in the Gulf of Aden, Somali pirates hold the crew of a container ship hostage on the ship’s bridge. The ship is trailed by a frigate, and elite naval commandos are now stacked on the ladders leading to either side of the bridge. A helicopter from the frigate makes an extreme maneuver, allowing a sniper on board to attempt an impossible shot, perfectly timed with the detonation of breaching charges. It is not SEAL Team 6, but the Chinese Jiaolong (Sea Dragons).
It's a great movie, the review at the US Military Academy's Modern War Institute says, right up until the end. But then...
The second dragon emerges only from the shadows in the final minute of the film, almost as if it were added as an afterthought, as if the film were viewed by someone in power who decided that the tone was too cooperative and insisted on the addition. In fact, the scene shows no individual characters, just ships at sea. After the events of the rest of the film, and thousands of miles away in the South China Sea, a flotilla of PLAN ships approaches what appears to be a smaller US flotilla of one Ticonderoga-class cruiser and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conducting a freedom of navigation operation. Alarms sound on the PLAN ships and a voice comes over the loudspeaker repeating in Chinese and English: “Attention! This is the Chinese Navy. You are about to enter Chinese waters. Please turn around immediately!” The second dragon is the one that makes and aggressively enforces destabilizing maritime territorial claims. This is the China that creates its own rules by ignoring the existing ones. The second dragon is the one that much of the world hopes to see fly away in favor of the first.
Don't bet on seeing the end of that second dragon. It's the real one.


Ymarsakar said...

The Chinese due to Mao Communism and Simplified language new speak, believe in might makes right.

Thus the communist party still respects the US, but only because of the potential for loss against a superpower.

Their system is much akin to kill down and kiss up.

Anyone weaker than a clan, can be exterminated. Anyone stronger than a clan, needs to be appeased and negotiated with. Thus to survive, the Chinese mainland believe in strength, not necessarily limited to economic or military.

This does not account for dissidents, Falun gong, or minorities from the Han.

Ymarsakar said...

The chinese military admirals and generals need to appear warlike because their supporters won't fund weaklings. Thus just like NK extorting their rivals via nuclear threats, "rivaling" a superpower only works if you are weaker than that superpower. If you rival someone your equal, a war might start sooner rather than later.

Due to the Chinese space program, some of them know by now what the US has been hiding in terms of tech supremacy. Tech supremacy that is even higher than what the US public or US presidents were told about. The Chinese can feel free using the US as a foil, even at the same time realizing that they cannot actually defeat that foe. They just have to look the part.

sykes.1 said...

I am watching this film, "Operation Red Sea," now. Too busy to watch it straight through.

It is a good military action/adventure film, but not a great film. Its chief merit is that it shows how Chinese think about the international scene. The Gulf of Aden is half way around the world, yet the Chinese have a flotilla of modern frigates and destroyers operating there and a base at Djibouti.

The Chinese do contribute a frigate or so to the international pirate control program, and they do have a refueling base at Djibouti, but the scale of their naval presence depicted in the film is extraordinary.

This film is part of a series showing Chinese commandos intervening everywhere. It's mostly fantasy stuff, but it likely reflects Chinese ambitions.

Ymarsakar said...

The Chinese have a rather highly nationalistic, perhaps jingoistic, view of their Special Forces. But the same can be said for other countries...

Military and especially hand to hand special forces operatives, are highly ranked in Chinese clans and bodyguard companies.

Civilians cannot overpower such figures easily without massive firepower and logistical differences, so thus it enhances the "strength" of a Chinese clan or company, which is basically what makes up the Chinese Mercantile Empire at the moment, from the ground up. The commies are at the top, but they are not the workers or the middle class.

Grim said...

I think 'ambitions' is part of it, and propaganda is the other part. It's not that they really can execute missions on this scale and at this range; it's that they'd really like people to think that they could. They'd like the popular mind to imagine them as a power equivalent to the USA, and to be that power, they need a capacity similar to the US Navy and its SEALs. So they make a movie. Many people will see the movie who won't research the actual capabilities.

sykes.1 said...

I agree re their ambitions and propaganda. The film series is meant for Chinese audiences.

I note the Chinese troops are using HUMVEEs and MRAPS, or at least very close knockoffs. They don’t have the modern version of the HUMVEE.

In British commando movies, like”Strike Back,” the British troops are equipped with M16’s and M4’s, rather than the British rifle. I’ve always thought it was because film makers could get access to American weapons if they filmed outside British jurisdiction, but there was no way to get access to British weapons.

In the film, the Chinese are using the standard Chinese bullpup assault rifle.

sykes.1 said...

Except one is using a Steyr.

And they fly in Hueys.

Whose Chinese navy is this anyway?