Want to buy a toy model of the Shandong, China’s newest aircraft carrier? Or how about some nice carrier-shaped jewelry or a carrier-themed baseball cap?
China’s government has been touting the nation’s growing fleet of aircraft carriers as a source of national pride, especially the Shandong, China’s first domestically manufactured carrier. Now, Beijing has a new idea: a line of creative items with carrier motifs, aimed at stirring the patriotic juices of young Chinese.
“We will gradually expand our product line to include dolls, stationery and cutlery, keeping creative goods modern and fashionable,” designer Xie Dahuan told the state-owned China Daily.
Photos in Chinese media showed a variety of products, including a scale model of the Shandong, badges, pendants and baseball caps emblazoned with wings and the number “17” (the Shandong’s pennant number in the Chinese fleet), and even sailor figurines dressed in pilot’s helmets or officer’s uniforms.
These items were designed by China Shipbuilding Culture and Technology Co., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The goal is to appeal to Chinese youth: the designers, led by Xie, were all born in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Xie spent many sleepless nights in the run-up to creating the first draft of designs, and over the past two and a half years, Xie's team submitted a total of twenty-eight designs for the ship's emblem and logo,” according to Chinamil.com, an official Chinese military website.