Did China Try To Pass Off Top Gun As Air Force Footage?

Illustration for article titled Did China Try To Pass Off Top Gun As Air Force Footage?

A few days ago, China Central Television showed footage of what they claimed was an air force training exercise conducted on January 23. From the looks of things, they were actually just playing clips from Top Gun.


The clips in question were reportedly aired during the News Broadcast program on China Central Television, the major state television broadcast company. They supposedly showed a J-10 fighter firing a missile at another aircraft during a practice exercise.

But an internet commenter quickly pointed out that the aircraft the J-10 was shown shooting down was an F-5, an American aircraft, and the very one Tom Cruise guns down in a scene from Top Gun. Comparing frames from the CCTV broadcast (left) and Top Gun (right), well, they're lookin' pretty much identical.

Illustration for article titled Did China Try To Pass Off Top Gun As Air Force Footage?

So that's amusing. There's no word yet on whether or not the Chinese fighter pilots engaged in any beach volleyball after the exercises. [MiniTofu via Geekosystem]


Amy Chua's book "Tiger Mother", about how to turn parenting into boot camp, struck me in how it revealed an utter contempt for any form of learning other than rote memorization and practice, and equal disdain for avenues of athletic or creative expression (gym and drama were the only classes where an A+ was not required). Music was an exercise in repetition. In a constitutional law class, Chua described how she "didn't care about the rights of criminals [sic]", she just wanted to write everything the professor down and memorize it.

I wonder if this disdain for creativity- a lack of regard for innovation and open exploration of ideas- may be an example of where China's demonstrated tendency towards theft of intellectual and artistic property acquires unconscious cultural sanction: they simply don't value creativity, and because creativity is worthless, your idea, your art, is essentially worthless in and of itself. Thus, it is of no consequence to appropriate it.

That said, Really, China? You're gonna steal 'stock footage' of military jets, that AREN'T EVEN JETS THAT YOUR COUNTRY OWNS, and also happens to be from a major international movie? From your chief economic and military rival, no less?