Beijing: In an interesting move, China is displaying a nuclear powered attack submarine to the public to boosts the people’s confidence in the country’s growing naval power. This is part of efforts by the Chinese authorities to enhance the image of president Xi Jinping ahead of the upcoming Plenum of the Communist Party, which will take crucial decisions which including giving Xi a second term as president.
China also announced on Thursday that the country’s first domestic-built aircraft carrier is at an advanced state of development. Its hull has already been assembled in a shipyard, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday. Design work on the vessel has been completed,while workers are currently installing equipment to the ship’ s body.
No navy in the world has ever put a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine on display in a museum, he added. Government experts said that displaying advanced ships, submarines and weapons at domestic maritime exhibitions would establish a closer connection with the public. The announcement will also add to the rising nationalism, which is an important plank in Xi’s efforts to reinforce his influence over different sections of the party, the government and the military.
The state media is equating him to Mao Zedong, who is regarded as the founder of the party and the main architect of Communist China since its formation in 1949. No other Chinese leader has been held in such high status since Mao.
The country’s first nuclear-powered submarine was towed to a port of the Chinese Navy Museum in Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province, in mid-October, according to the North Sea Fleet of the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy.” This boat, which sailed oceans for more than 40 years, will soon be presented as an exhibit to you at the museum. Before arriving at the museum, the submarine’s nuclear parts have been removed, in accordance with international standards, so the boat is completely safe,” it said.
Official media said the decommissioning of the submarine, together with the safe disposal of its nuclear reactors and waste, indicates China is able to not only develop and operate nuclear submarines, but also properly handle them when they retire.