Qingdao schoolchildren embrace Chinese naval culture
Updated 15:45, 21-Apr-2019
Wu Guoxiu
People living in east China's Qingdao City feel more connection to the navy, as they are able to observe navy ships from out at sea. Naval culture even influences primary school students.
Ma Mingqian, 11, made a model navy ship on his own. Most of his toys are related to the navy. And he sounds like an expert when introducing them.
"This is a missile destroyer named after my hometown Qingdao. I particularly like the HHQ7 air defense missile system. But it can't work well without the help of a big surveillance radar," he says, pointing to every detailed part of the model vessel.
Ma is a sixth grader at a primary school close to his home. He says the school has helped him know more about the navy and the sea.
"We have a maritime lesson every week. It teaches about the navy's equipment, the maritime biological crisis, the co-existence of coral reef and fish, as well as under-sea cables," he says. He's also been a volunteer guide in the city's navy museum.
A billboard shows Qingdao celebrating the 70th anniversary of PLAN. /CGTN Photo

A billboard shows Qingdao celebrating the 70th anniversary of PLAN. /CGTN Photo

His father Ma Yutao has been helping him develop his interest.
They would never miss an occasion to board a real navy ship.
"The navy ships will dock here at the Olympic Sailing Center sometimes during their public open day. In 2016, I took my son on a frigate ship 112," says the father.
Qingdao hosts the headquarters of China's North China Sea Fleet. It's not difficult to find local people keeping naval models at home, as they look forward to the big occasion on Tuesday.
Li Zhongkai is a military fan. "I've applied to attend the public events while the navy is celebrating its 70th anniversary. I hope I can board some foreign ships," he says.
The fleet inspection will take place over 20 kilometers away in the sea. There's a lot of curiosity in Qingdao as people await the arrival of the foreign fleets, but they can see them up close and personal when the ships open for public visits after the review.