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China Military Transformation ep.6: Internationalization of Chinese naval officers

Reporter: Ge Yunfei 丨 CCTV.com

10-06-2016 14:29 BJT

Full coverage: 80th Anniversary of the Victory of the Red Army's Long March

As China creates a blue water navy to assume greater responsibility on the high seas, a greater sense of responsibility is required from its naval officers, especially in international waters.

This is CUES—the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a common language for international vessels communicating on the high seas. Now every Chinese navy ship uses CUES. But fifteen years ago, it was totally different.

"Fifteen years ago, because of poor English, when we sailed at sea, met vessels, we cannot communicate with each other very well. And this may cause misunderstanding. Now, we can understand each other very well," said Xu Haihua, senior captain of Destroyer Flotilla, Donghai Fleet.

Senior Captain Xu Haihua was the first captain of China’s imported modern destroyer in 1999 and is now leading a premier combat destroyer flotilla in the East China Sea. Being able to speak English and Russian, he strongly pushes English-learning in his fleet.

"English for an officer is very important, it’s a skill. When Chinese navy steps out to the blue water, we’re not alone. And we’re conducting our missions in the vast area of the sea," Xu said.
Sub-Lieutenant Hu Han joined the flotilla in 2014 and attended this year’s Rim of the Pacific naval drill near Hawaii...

"Take the RIMPAC for example, I have seen navy ships and fellows from more than twenty countries. This is really a good opportunity. We have more chances of being abroad and communicate with the other navy," Hu said.

Hu is the first female naval officer in the flotilla, leading 13 other female marines on the ship. She said her team is well capable of matching their male counterparts...

"I don’t think girls should take less responsibility in the mission. Everyone has his or her duty. In fact, of all the difficulties, we should overcome them together rather than being a criticizer just simply because we are girls," Hu said.

Talking about the future, Hu admits she sometimes can’t help but think about eventually leading a warship...

"Being a female commanding officer would be a dream for every girl who joined the navy. There is an old saying “he who never wants to be an admiral is not a good soldier, which makes sense when it comes to girls," Hu said.

Dare to dream and dream big — step by step, Sub-Lieutenant Hu may finally be Commanding Officer Hu someday.

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