The Cable

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Top Chinese general comes to Washington

There are doubts about exactly how advanced Chinese military technology is becoming, but in one area the People’s Liberation Army is definitely making significant advancement … cinematography. Following today’s speech by Gen. Xu Caihou, the vice chairman of the Communist Party of China’s Central Military Commission (a position roughly equivalent to the U.S. secretary of ...

There are doubts about exactly how advanced Chinese military technology is becoming, but in one area the People's Liberation Army is definitely making significant advancement ... cinematography.

Following today's speech by Gen. Xu Caihou, the vice chairman of the Communist Party of China's Central Military Commission (a position roughly equivalent to the U.S. secretary of defense) -- in which he called for greater military cooperation between the United States and China -- the general showed a video touting the PLA's response to last year's massive earthquake in Sichuan province.

The video, entitled "Save The Life," had Hollywood-level production quality, was filmed in high definition, and was fully narrated and subtitled in perfect English. It glorifies the rescue efforts of soldiers in the wake of the disaster and the appreciation of suffering locals. The video, much like the general's remarks, was very polished and one-sided. Take a look (the earthquake film begins at 54:30):

There are doubts about exactly how advanced Chinese military technology is becoming, but in one area the People’s Liberation Army is definitely making significant advancement … cinematography.

Following today’s speech by Gen. Xu Caihou, the vice chairman of the Communist Party of China’s Central Military Commission (a position roughly equivalent to the U.S. secretary of defense) — in which he called for greater military cooperation between the United States and China — the general showed a video touting the PLA’s response to last year’s massive earthquake in Sichuan province.

The video, entitled "Save The Life," had Hollywood-level production quality, was filmed in high definition, and was fully narrated and subtitled in perfect English. It glorifies the rescue efforts of soldiers in the wake of the disaster and the appreciation of suffering locals. The video, much like the general’s remarks, was very polished and one-sided. Take a look (the earthquake film begins at 54:30):

In the interest of parity, also take a look at this chilling documentary, "The Day the Schools Fell Down," produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which details how shoddy school construction led to massive deaths among rural children and how aggrieved parents were ignored or pressured into silence by their government.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

Tag: China

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