China releases poorly photoshopped naval image

CHINA'S Defence Ministry has apologised for allowing a badly photoshopped picture of navy ships and fighter jets to appear on its social media accounts over the weekend.

The dodgy image, which appeared on the ministry's accounts on social networking sites Weibo and Wechat, was meant to mark the navy's 68th birthday.

It included fighter jets soaring over the country's first aircraft carrier, with two other warships steaming along in the background, above two ghostly submarines.

China's badly photoshopped image of its navy fleet has caused hilarity online.
China's badly photoshopped image of its navy fleet has caused hilarity online. Supplied

Internet users were quick to point out though the two warships were probably US vessels, that one of the aircraft shown was a Russian MiG-35 and that the three other fighter jets were land-based J-10s rather than the carrier-based J-15s.

The image was also mocked for looking cheap and unprofessional.

Speaking at a monthly news briefing on Thursday, ministry spokesman Yang Yujun admitted that the image was "not meticulous" and that it had been criticised by internet users.

"The carelessness was with the editor, the responsibility is on the shoulders of the leadership," Yang said, adding he was "sincerely sorry". Neither the image nor the critical comments would be removed as they could serve as a warning, Yang said.

Users of Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, had expressed amazement that the military, which is normally so sensitive about its image, had allowed the picture to appear.

"Those propaganda guys are weak in the head. They need to go after them for not doing their job," wrote one Weibo user.