15 February 2016

Must Watch, Don’t Be Deterred! The Official PLA Rocket Force Music Video

RAND Senior Political Scientist Dr. Michael Chase has just called a most interesting item to my attention: the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF)’s official music video (further details in Global Times article appended below). In it, the PLARF showcases its official song, in which it bills itself as “The Long Sword of a Great Power.”

Click here to watch the PLARF music video.

As Dr. Chase points out, the video depicts DF-5B MIRVed silo-based ICBMs, DF-16 conventional MRBMs, and a number of other missiles, featured in a mix of footage from Beijing’s 3 September 2015 military parade and some field training. Some of the most interesting items portrayed include the inside of a mobile command and control vehicle, a blast door closing in an underground facility, and what appears to be a salvo launch of at least five missiles. 

The chorus? A stirring rendition of “Advance! Advance! Heroic Rocket Force!” 

The video would be incomplete, of course, if it did not conclude with the obligatory quote from Xi Jinping: “PLA Rocket Force is China’s core force for strategic deterrence, a strategic buttress for China’s position as a major power, and an important cornerstone for defending national security.”

Here’s the article referenced above. Ironically, whoever selected the title missed a key point: the newly-renamed PLARF is one of four PLA services; not merely a “branch” ranking below three services, as was the case with its predecessor, the Second Artillery Corps/Force!

Yao Jianing, ed., “New Branch of PLA Shows Off Missiles in Music Video,” Global Times, 14 February 2016.

The recently established Rocket Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has released a music video for its new official song featuring images of several Dongfeng ballistic missiles in a bid to showcase the force’s prowess.

The Dongfeng-5B intercontinental strategic missiles were presented alongside many other weapons in the video for the force’s new official march, named “March of the Rocket Force.” 

The music video was released Saturday on js7tv.cn, a website affiliated with the Chinese military. 

Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping characterizing the PLA Rocket Force as a “core force of strategic deterrence, a strategic buttress to the country’s position as a major power, and an important building block in upholding national security” also appear at the end of the music video. 

The song was released in January shortly after China announced the launch of the PLA Rocket Force on December 31, 2015 as part of its military reform program, which designated the Rocket Force as the PLA’s fourth service on par with the army, navy and air force. 

The Dongfeng-5B missile, which was designed to carry nuclear warheads, also appeared in the massive military parade held at Tiananmen Square in the capital in September 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.



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